BULLDOGS A WORK IN PROGRESS
The signs are good but the 2022 Central District team is still a work in progress, if the 25-point SANFL loss to the Adelaide Crows AFL reserves team at Elizabeth is any indication.
Improvements from last season are obvious but the Bulldogs still need to find a way to win more games to be a real shot at playing finals footy.
Against the Crows, Central had a great start with a 5.2 to 2.1 first quarter, after Adelaide booted the first two goals of the game.
In an 11-minute period from the 11-minute mark, the Dogs booted five majors, including three by Luca Whitelum, one a sensational snap around his body from 40m out for the goal of the game.
Billy McCormack was leading the way in ruck for Central, and is shaping up to be the versatile big-man the Dogs have craved for in recent seasons.
The work ethic around the ground was commendable, but the Crows seemed to have a little extra in the tank, which is to be expected from a team that is, in the majority, made up of AFL-listed players.
It is a credit that Central was still leading at half time, 7.4 to 6.8, but the signs were starting to favour the visitors.
As hard as the Bulldogs worked for their goals, Adelaide always seemed to be able to control the scoreboard, with returns of four goals to two from Central in the second, third and fourth quarters, to lead by six-points at lemons before pulling away.
Hopes for the Dogs to pinch a win remained throughout the contest until late in the game, as a determined Central team kept working hard, which will develop character.
While McCormack is proving the standout recruit this season, Bailey Reeves, George Kendall and Blake Launer are all proving valuable acquisitions, and with some promising youngsters being blooded, patience will be rewarded as the season unwinds.
This Saturday the Bulldogs host reigning premiers Woodville West Torrens.
Goals: Whitelum, Grace 3, Kendall 2, McCormack, Launer, Shaw 1.
Best: T. Schiller, Presbury, McCormack, J. Schiller, Grace, Weaver.
By Robert Laidlaw