2022 AFLW Season Preview: Western Bulldogs

THE 2022 AFL Women’s season is almost upon us, so it is time to take a look at each of the competing teams and see where they sit as we head into another season. Today we will take a look at the Western Bulldogs, who will be looking to push up into finals in 2022.

Unfortunately for the Western Bulldogs, 2021 was a case of so close, yet so far. They were one of the big improvers of season 2021, and almost made finals. They had great wins against Carlton and Melbourne along the way, but a 56 point thrashing at the hands of Adelaide in round eight ultimately ended the Dogs’ finals chances.

In the offseason the Bulldogs have recruited really well. They brought in Elle Bennetts from GWS, Richelle Cranston as a delisted free agent from Geelong, and Alice Edmonds as a replacement player, who was previously playing at Richmond. They also drafted in Amanda Ling, Aurora Smith and Elizabeth Snell. All three will provide the Bulldogs with some serious wheels and add to the ever-growing talent base at the Kennel.

In terms of their outs, Angelica Gogos, Lauren Spark and Amelia Van Oosterwijck all retired, while Katy Herron, Danielle Marshall and Kim Rennie were delisted.

Gabrielle Newton is the only player on their inactive list to date after she injured her shoulder, but she will be a huge out for the Bulldogs this season.

There are a whole lot of maybes surrounding the Bulldogs heading into the 2022 season. They are certainly a contender for finals this season, but not a finals certainty.

If they are able to string a few good wins together, they could be sitting pretty heading into the middle part of the season. But, they are a young side who may just need the time to develop and gain experience. Also, because of injuries may also need to keep relying on top up players as they did in the practice match.

In the practice match against North, they did struggle to stand up to North’s pressure. It could be down to the age of the side or the fact that they were short a few key players due to injury. Thankfully for the Bulldogs they don’t have to face North again this season, but they do encounter sides equal to, or better than North.

In the first half of the season, they have Melbourne, Geelong, Carlton, GWS and then Richmond. They could be 5/5 or 0/5 by the end of this stretch. They should beat Geelong, Richmond and maybe even GWS, but the Carlton and Melbourne games will be challenges.

In the back half of the season they have got a slightly harder task, facing Adelaide, Gold Coast, Collingwood, West Coast and Fremantle. Still some beatable sides in there, but a lot of more those top end teams too.

2022 squad:

  • Deanna Berry
  • Elle Bennetts
  • Ellie Blackburn
  • Eleanor Brown
  • Richelle Cranston
  • Alice Edmonds
  • Naomi Ferres
  • Jess Fitzgerald
  • Ellyse Gamble
  • Elisabeth Georgostathis
  • Isabella Grant
  • Ashleigh Guest
  • Britney Gutknecht
  • Sarah Hartwig
  • Bailey Hunt
  • Isabel Huntington
  • Gemma Lagioia
  • Kirsty Lamb
  • Amanda Ling
  • Brooke Lochland
  • Katie Lynch
  • Kirsten McLeod
  • Celine Moody
  • Nell Morris-Dalton
  • Isabella Pritchard
  • Hannah Scott
  • Aurora Smith
  • Elizabeth Snell
  • Annabel Strahan
  • Bonnie Toogood

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