Western Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce is excited about what he will get to work with in 2021.
The Bulldogs further strengthened their star-studded midfield by bringing in Adam Treloar from Collingwood and adding Brisbane ruckman Stefan Martin in the trade period.
They also managed to hang onto Josh Dunkley despite him seeking a move to Essendon.
The side’s on-ball bridge is now considered to be one of the very best in the AFL which has Bruce and his fellow forwards “licking their lips”.
Bruce says the intensity between the midfielders at pre-season training has been immense which is exciting for the Dogs.
“It has gone up another level,” he said on SEN’s Time On.
“There’s obviously that natural competition for spots when you get a couple of guys of the calibre of Adam and Stef Martin in the ruck.
“These guys are superstars of the game and they’ve just added another layer to that already great midfield.
“Tensions do tend to run a little bit high in some of the match simulation, but that’s exactly what you want from your mids. You want them to be combative and you want them to really be getting after the footy and after each other.
“It’s been a really high standard through the midfield and as a forward line we’re licking our lips at the prospect of those guys together.
“It’s just unbelievable.”
Bruce also touched on the failed Dunkley trade and the mindset the 2016 premiership player has had since returning to the club and the bond he has formed with Treloar.
“I’m not sure what he was thinking but I’m sure that Essendon had tabled a really good offer,” he added.
“I think it is becoming more and more accepted that guys are going to look after their futures and their families. We’re not in this game for that long.
“Obviously we’re really grateful to keep Josh. In terms of him fitting back into the group, he’s in the leadership group, he’s a high calibre player and he’s settled in extremely well.
“He came back and ran a PB in his time trial. He set the standard from day one. Nothing’s really changed on that front.
“If anything, he and Adam Treloar are pretty much best mates already. It’s worked out really well. It could have lit a fire in his belly even more.
“I’m sure we’ll see the best from Josh in 2021.”
The Dogs meet Melbourne in the AAMI Community Series on March 8 before kicking off their 2021 season proper against Collingwood at the MCG on March 19.