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The Bulldogs' next All-Australian, who is set for a big 2021 and who needs a pay cut


Doug Hawkins has delivered his Unconventional Club Review for the Western Bulldogs.

The former club captain spoke to Garry and Tim about the Dogs' 2020 season, and cast an optimistic eye towards 2021.

Who is the Dogs’ next All-Australian?

Hawkins: "The young boy in No. 6, Bailey Smith. He’s really impressed me this year, he’s been terrific," he told SEN Breakfast.

"Of course, there’s a young boy in the forward line who played with that cheekbone injury, Aaron Naughton. They’re the two for me that stand out."

Tim Watson says: "Aaron Naughton. All the pieces will come together and he’ll get a decent, clean run at it."

Do the Bulldogs have the right man as captain? If not, who is?

Hawkins: "(Marcus Bontempelli) is certainly the man. When Bobby Murphy retired at the end of 2017, I would have made him captain then. He’s that mature, I reckon he was ready to do it.

"He won the best and fairest in the year of the premiership, and I thought he was ready to go then. This year he’s taken some forward steps. It’s been a funny season but when he’s up and firing, the Dogs are up and firing."

Watson says: "Spot on. He grew really quickly into that role in the early part of the season."

If “player x” plays well, the Dogs are always a chance?

Hawkins: "I’m going with Naughton again. When he’s up and about, he brings players into the game, he takes pack marks and kicks two or three quick goals. He can change a game pretty quickly."

Watson says: "The Bont."

Which player is deserving of a pay rise?

Hawkins: "Bailey Smith. He finished seventh in the best-and-fairest, he’s a tough young kid. We all love him. I’d like to see him get a little increase to his salary."

Watson says: "I’m going for Bailey Williams who finished top ten (in the best and fairest). He had a very good season, and I would think that he’s underpaid."

Which player should take a pay cut?

Hawkins: "Josh Bruce. He had a pretty ordinary year to his standards. And you know what? We know when we have a bad day or a bad run. He knows he hasn’t been at his best, and I reckon he needs a little bit of a cut."

Watson says: "We’re on the same page, Dougie and I."

Expect a big 2021 from?

Hawkins: "(Aaron Naughton) can kick 50+ goals, if we go back to our normal times each quarter. He can go back as well, if he needs to."

Watson says: "I’m all in on Aaron Naughton, and think he’s going to smash it if he gets a good run with injury."

Big positional change in 2021?

Hawkins: "Josh Bruce. If he can’t fire he can go back. (Josh) Schache didn’t play a lot of footy (in 2020) and struggles up forward at times, I’d like to see him go back as well.

"(Tim) English is the big one. We need to get (another) ruckman. He can be a big target, he can mark the ball, and he can spend 40 to 50 per cent of the game rucking."

Western Bulldogs

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