2022 AFL Draft Review: Western Bulldogs
THE Western Bulldogs welcomed just three new players to the kennel at this year’s AFL Draft, but made their picks count. Another high-end key position player and two energetic smalls made up their haul, and we analyse what each prospect may offer in red, white and blue.
#13 Jedd Busslinger (Key Defender, East Perth/Western Australia)
#24 Charlie Clarke (Small Forward, Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
#39 Harvey Gallagher (Small Utility, Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
The Bulldogs’ draft contribution was relatively short and sweet, nabbing a player in each of the first three rounds. Jedd Busslinger was first off the board at pick 13, offering sound reading of the play and terrific intercept ability as a key defender. The West Australian adds to his new side’s exciting tall stocks and despite a shoulder injury cutting his top-age season short, remained the best available backman.
Energy and excitement is what clubs often look for in smalls, and that is exactly what the Bulldogs got with Charlie Clarke at pick 24. The lively forward is an instinctual player around goal and loves to celebrate, lifting his teammates and fans alike. There is scope for him to shift into midfield too, though the Bulldogs are well stocked there.
Last but certainly not least for the Dogs was Harvey Gallagher at pick 39. The Bendigo Pioneers skipper was the first over-ager selected this year, having revitalised his draft chances with a move to defence. The Bulldogs will likely use him as a small running defender, though he has previously shown his wares as a nifty midfielder-forward.