By Danny McCarthy
The Western Bulldogs are set to bound into Maroochydore on January 28 for a 10-day training camp.
The players will get stuck into a range of activities, taking advantage of the Sunshine Coast conditions with beach work, swimming, team bonding and training.
The area has become a popular haunt for AFL teams with the Giants, Hawks, Lions and Demons training there in recent months.
A major factor for teams choosing the Sunshien Coast is the Queensland heat, beaches and top class training and recreational facilities.
On Sunday, February 1 the Bulldogs will hold an open training session where footy fans can come and meet their favourite stars.
The session will begin at 9.30am at Maroochydore Multisport Complex and following training players will be available for autographs.
Fans can meet Tom Boyd, the former number one draft pick, who joined the Bulldogs in a blockbuster trade that sent then skipper Ryan Griffen to the Giants.
Boyd told westernbulldogs.com.au he is looking forward to meeting the expectations placed on him.
“If I put my best foot forward, work really hard and get the best out of myself then I’ll have no quarrels with expectations placed on me,” he said.
Also on show will be young guns Tom Liberatore and Marcus Bontempelli. Liberatore, the club’s 2014 best and fairest, became one of the game’s elite midfielders last year averaging 24 disposals.
Bontempelli, beginning his second season, already has a long highlight reel including a memorable game winning goal against Melbourne; a finalist for goal of the year.
Queensland Bulldog faithful will also get a first glimpse of new captain Robert Murphy; the 271 game veteran took over from Griffen last year.
“I’m really proud. This has been my football club for half my life – it means everything to me,” he told westernbullbogs.com.au
“I’ve played under some great captains in our club’s history and to be part of that lineage is something really special.”
Expectation will be high, following last season, when young players emerged to take key roles and show there is a bright future for the club.
New coach Luke Beveridge, who unveiled a fresh leadership that includes Dale Morris, Matthew Boyd, Tom Liberatore, new vice-captain Jordan Roughead and captain Murphy, told BulldogsTV consistency was the key.
“They will all be asked to take on certain responsibilities as leaders and that ties into what we are doing as coaches, what we are doing as a football club,” he said.
“The themes are being consistent and constant and there will be clarity for our leaders to grapple with, that and make the work place a better place and take us where we want to go.”