With the 2016 AFL fixture released over a week ago now, Bulldogs fans should be very happy with how things have turned out for their club.
After making it's first finals appearance since 2010, many had expected the Dogs to have a much tougher draw next year and while they'll be playing four finals fancies twice, many experts have still tipped the Dogs to have been one of the few 'winners' in the 2016 AFL fixture release.
No Place Like Home
The Dogs will play their first seven games at the Docklands, starting with an Easter Sunday clash with the Fremantle Dockers, followed by St.Kilda, Hawthorn, Carlton, Brisbane, North Melbourne and Adelaide. They have enjoyed playing their footy at Etihad Stadium this year and have made that ground somewhat of a fortress. They also get an extra game in Melbourne before taking a trip to Blacktown to face the GWS Giants in round nine.
The Dogs will only have to travel interstate four more times after that game throughout the season, including a trip to Adelaide Oval to tackle Port Adelaide, a trip to Sydney to face a Swans team that will be looking for retribution for their loss to the Dogs this year, a home game in Cairns where the Gold Coast Suns will be waiting for them and a final-round game at Domain Stadium against Fremantle.
It's a big win for the Dogs here as other teams will have to travel to certain states twice throughout next season, like West Coast, who will have to travel to Adelaide twice or Hawthorn who will have to travel to New South Wales twice.
Friday Night Lights
For the first time since 2012, the Western Bulldogs will be featured in a Friday night game in 2016. After being rewarded for playing a brilliant style of football in 2015, They will be given three games against quality opposition on a Friday night. The first of those three being played in round six against preliminary finalists in North Melbourne. These two sides played a terrific contest in their one and only clash this year, so this one should promise to be a beauty.
They will also travel to Geelong to play prized recruit Patrick Dangerfield and the Cats in their first ever game under the lights at the Cattery in round 19 before the Dogs host a Friday night game of their own a couple of weeks later against Collingwood in round 21.
The Western Bulldogs will get to host a number of games featuring big-name rival Victorian clubs next year.
They will host reigning premiers Hawthorn in round three. The first time these two sides will be playing under the roof since 2012.
The Dogs will also host games against Geelong (Round 13), Richmond (Round 16), North Melbourne (Round 20) and Collingwood (Round 21). All of those games are sure to bring in a good crowd and a good chance of nabbing victory in all five games, given the recent good record at Etihad Stadium.
They will also host the side that knocked them out of the elimination final this year in Adelaide in round seven in what should be another exciting chapter in the Dogs/Crows rivalry that can be dated back to 1997. The two sides played a heart-stopping, high-scoring final this year with the Crows coming out on top by seven points and no doubt will the Dogs be out seeking retribution next year.
The End Of Sunday Twilight?
It has been well documented that Sunday twilight games have been the least favourite time to go watch a Bulldogs game. After six twilight game in 2014 They only managed one twilight game this year and will only get one next year, a round 22 clash against Essendon. The Dogs will have nine games on a Saturday night and will have six games on a Sunday afternoon.
Western Bulldogs 2016 Fixture
Round 1 - Sunday March 27
Western Bulldogs vs Fremantle - Etihad Stadium (1.10pm)
Round 2 - Saturday April 2
St. Kilda vs Western Bulldogs - Etihad Stadium (7.25pm)
Round 3 - Sunday April 10
Western Bulldogs vs Hawthorn - Etihad Stadium (3.20pm)
Round 4 - Saturday April 16
Carlton vs Western Bulldogs - Etihad Stadium (7.25pm)
Round 5 - Saturday April 23
Western Bulldogs vs Brisbane - Etihad Stadium (7.25pm)
Round 6 - Friday April 29
North Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs - Etihad Stadium (7.50pm)
Round 7 - Saturday May 7
Western Bulldogs vs Adelaide - Etihad Stadium (7.40pm)
Round 8 - Sunday May 15
Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs - MCG (3.20pm)
Round 9 - Sunday May 22
GWS Giants vs Western Bulldogs - Spotless Stadium (3.20pm)
Round 10 - Sunday May 29
Collingwood vs Western Bulldogs - MCG (3.20pm)
Round 11 - Sunday June 5
Western Bulldogs vs West Coast Eagles - Etihad Stadium (3.20pm)
Round 12 - Saturday June 11
Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs - Adelaide Oval (1.45pm)
Round 13 - Saturday June 18
Western Bulldogs vs Geelong - Etihad Stadium (7.25pm)
Round 14 - BYE
Round 15 - Saturday July 2
Sydney Swans vs Western Bulldogs - SCG (4.35pm)
Round 16 - Saturday July 9
Western Bulldogs vs Richmond - Etihad Stadium (7.25pm)
Round 17 - Saturday July 16
Western Bulldogs vs Gold Coast Suns - Cazalys Stadium (7.25pm)
Round 18 - Saturday July 23
Western Bulldogs vs St. Kilda - Etihad Stadium (7.25pm)
Round 19 - Friday July 29
Geelong vs Western Bulldogs - Simonds Stadium (7.50pm)
Round 20 - Saturday August 6
Western Bulldogs vs North Melbourne - Etihad Stadium (7.25pm)
Round 21 - Friday August 12
Western Bulldogs vs Collingwood - Etihad Stadium (7.50pm)
Round 22 - Sunday August 21
Essendon vs Western Bulldogs - Etihad Stadium (4.40pm)
Round 23 - Date and Time TBA
Fremantle vs Western Bulldogs - Domain Stadium
What do you think of the Bulldogs fixture?
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