Season 2015 saw a number of Bulldogs break out for big years, players such as Jake Stringer, Mitch Wallis Tory Dickson and many others come through for career-best seasons. But with the new year just around the corner and the much-anticipated 2016 season only a few months away, here are the five players Bulldog fans, or any fan really, must watch out for in 2016.
After being taken at pick 35 in the 2015 draft, the man who is fastly becoming more known to everyone as 'The Specimen' will more than likely be the draftee out of this years class to make his debut first in 2016. As a mature-aged draftee, the key defender has got that ready-made body, very good foot skills, has the strength to compete with the monster forwards and for a man his size has got good pace and agility, Monster defenders have been something that the Dogs have been lacking in recent years and Adams, along with the young upstart and fellow draftee Kieran Collins should fill this void in many years to come.
After breaking through for his debut game in round ten against Port Adelaide, Toby McLean was four games into his career when an unfortunate shoulder injury derailed his 2015 campaign, but in those four games, McLean has showed that he is more than capable of hanging at senior level, averaging 19 disposals and a goal in the three games he was not the substitute in. Many have already begun to label him as 'The Dark Horse' for next years Rising Star award, and hopefully with his fantastic leap, perhaps we could also label him an outside chance for Mark of the Year next season.
Hrovat's 2015 was troubled with injury after having been one of the better players during the pre-season, only managing seven games this year. Things will have to fall his way next year if he's a chance to get significant playing time in 2016. He's got the talent to make it as a player, but has fallen down the midfield order behind the names such as Bontempelli, Dahlhaus, Wallis and Macrae, his ability to play as a crumbing forward will also help press his claims for a spot.
The former Giant's first year as a Bulldog saw him take baby steps into becoming the power forward the Bulldogs payed him to be. H is season was encouraging, kicking 16 goals in 14 games including a Rising Star nomination, a bag of three goals against the premiers in Hawthorn, and a career-best four goals against Brisbane, and although he was sent back to the VFL in the second half of the year, the experience he gathered this year should prove invaluable heading into next year and with another pre-season under his belt, he has got to take another step or two in 2016 to establish himself.
How exciting is it going to be to have this guy back in 2016 in a midfield that has already provided so much excitement? after an ACL injury forced the 2014 Charles Sutton Medallist on the sidelines for all of 2015, he should slip right back into the line-up for round one. Fans from either side of the fence should know how much he loves to tackle and how often he wins his own footy and his ability to win clearances is first-rate. Seriously, adding him into the midfield with the likes of Bontempelli, Dahlhaus, Picken, Wallis and Macrae will make any Bulldog fan salivate.