AFL 2 years ago

Bulldogs unbowed by AFL record at Geelong

  • Bulldogs unbowed by AFL record at Geelong

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge insists his young AFL team won't be weighed down by a long unsuccessful run at Geelong when they travel to Simonds Stadium to tackle the struggling Cats on Saturday.

The sixth-placed Bulldogs haven't won at the venue since 2003 and have not beaten Geelong anywhere in their past seven clashes dating back to 2009.

"We definitely won't talk about it," Beveridge said on Friday.

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"It's such a new brigade, such a new team who have come together this year so we won't let it play on our minds at all."

After being well-nigh unbeatable on home turf in the previous eight seasons, the 11th-ranked Cats have been unusually vulnerable at Simonds Stadium this year, with their only win in four attempts a mostly unconvincing effort against Gold Coast in round three.

"Geelong are really the only (Victorian) club who haven't been subjected to ground rationalisation - they have got their home headquarters and it's been a real advantage for them," said Beveridge.

"They've had great teams, they're a sensational football club.

"But it's nice to think they're dropping a few down there and we obviously aim to make it another one."

Geelong will be without inspirational skipper Joel Selwood, who is serving a one-match ban for his chicken-wing tackle on North Melbourne's Sam Wright.

The Cats have brought onballer Mitch Duncan straight back into the senior team after six matches out with a broken foot to help cover for Selwood's absence.

"To play against any side without a Selwood, a (Nat) Fyfe or a (Patrick) Dangerfield or a Sam Mitchell - it always helps in some regard," said Beveridge.

"But they, like us, will replace him with someone who is enthusiastic and eager.

"We haven't really spoken about Joel being out of the side but he's obviously a significant loss for them."

Both teams will have inexperienced ruck divisions, with Tom Campbell coming in for his first senior match of the year for the Bulldogs to replace Will Minson (shoulder).

The Cats have dumped Dawson Simpson, with makeshift pairing Josh Walker and Mark Blicavs to assume ruck duties.

The Bulldogs will be strengthened by the return of versatile big man Jordan Roughead, who is likely to spend most of his time in defence matched against Geelong spearhead Tom Hawkins.

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