After a bitter and ugly post-season split last year Adam Treloar is expected to bring more feeling to Round 1 when he takes on Collingwood at the MCG
The Western Bulldogs playing group knows it can’t escape the story within Friday’s Round 1 blockbuster against Collingwood and fully expect a little more “heat” in the season-opener.
Midfield star Jack McCrae conceded new teammate, and ex-Magpie, Adam Treloar would have “more feeling” when the teams meet after his acrimonious exit from Collingwood at the end of last season.
Treloar has recently revealed he really took it personally when he was moved on by Collingwood despite being under contract, setting the scene for some fiery moments on Friday night.
“Obviously there’s a bit more feeling there with Adam. There might be a bit of heat in it, especially for him, but we are focused on starting the season really well,” McCrae said on Monday.
“I’d love nothing more than for him to play amazing on the weekend and if that helps us win that’s even better.
“There’s going to be little stories within the game but our main focus is, and for him too, we all want to play well but mostly we want to win.
“He’s pretty professional and since he walked in has been very determined to start the year well. He’s been very impressive with his professionalism, he ticks all the boxes and he’s been great to have around.”
Treloar’s round to the opening match has also been interrupted by injury, but McCrae said the Bulldogs were “pretty healthy” going in to the season opener.
That gives them one of the deepest midfields in the competition, and players going so well 2016 Norm Smith medallist Jason Johannisen is struggling to break into the line-up.
McCrae said the depth meant all players would find themselves playing roles beyond what they would prefer, but said that was what worked for them in that premiership win.
“We’re all going to have to adapt but we’ll also have to be selfless,” he said.
“If we are all on the same page it’s going to work really well. I think we all offer different things, different strings that complement each other.
“It’s worked really well in the past, 2016 was our model where we would all share the load a little bit more and look to play well as a team rather than just individually.”
McCrae said that also set new standards everyone had to reach to maintain their spot in the team, which in turn would push the Bulldogs to better performances.
“That’s always been Bevo’s (coach Luke Beveridge) motto, no-one is untouchable. With the depth in the midfield, it brings you to a higher level because you know you are going to be held accountable,” he said.
Memories of a horror start to 2020, an eight-goal loss to Carlton before the season was stopped for nearly three months, is also set to propel the Bulldogs to a faster start this season. .
“It was one of the worst games I have been involved in to be honest. It was a bitterly disappointing night. After that game we didn’t pay footy for a long time, so we sat on that performance for a long time,”McRae said.
“We’re very keen show we are a better club than that.
“It’s something we have really focused on since we came back, it’s not about flicking the switch this week, it’s something we have been building since January.”