Western Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains is confident a handful of the club’s key players will soon sign new contracts.
A number of Dogs including All-Australian trio Jack Macrae, Caleb Daniel and Bailey Dale as well as midfielder Josh Dunkley, young gun Bailey Smith, veteran Jason Johannisen and promising tall Tim English are out of contract in 2022.
Bains insists talks are ongoing with all uncontracted players and is of the belief that the club will manage to hold on to all of the above.
“Certainly a number of those discussions are underway,” he said on SEN’s Dwayne’s World.
“Sam Power, who has done a tremendous job in looking after our list management space over the last few years, is already in proactive discussions with those guys and a couple of others on top of that.
“We do have a bunch of our core players that are out of contract. I think the pleasing thing that Dogs fans and members would love to hear that each of those conversations, has as a starting point, each of the players wanting to stay at the club and commit to the club.
“They’ll each take a different amount of time to get done as you negotiate on the way through, but the fact that everyone wants to remain here is a really positive thing for the club.”
Another Bulldog, 2020’s No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, admitted this week that he perhaps had not worked as hard as he could have in his first season.
As a result, he is spending plenty of time with captain Marcus Bontempelli in a bid to improve his output.
Bains praised the 19-year-old for admitting his faults, believing it shows character, and is backing him to enjoy a more fruitful second campaign as an AFL player.
“I think it was a bit of self awareness and reflection,” he said of Ugle-Hagan.
“Part of the challenge for the young guys coming through, particularly if they’re at the top of the draft like Jamarra was, is there is an expectation to play immediately, particularly when they see some of their peers playing.
“It’s not often that a player comes into a club that then plays in a Grand Final. You normally go into a team that’s finished bottom.
“It’s been a great acknowledgment and full credit to both him and Marcus who has taken him under his wing during this break as well.
“He’s been training really hard and we’re hopeful that he can be a big part of the season going forward, particularly in the context of Josh Bruce not coming back straight away.”