AFL 2 years ago

Bulldogs' Hunter looks to Pie night

  • Bulldogs' Hunter looks to Pie night

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs (left) celebrates a goal with Lachie Hunter of the Bulldogs during the 2016 AFL Round 16 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Richmond Tigers at Etihad Stadium on July 9, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The Western Bulldogs rivalry with Collingwood isn't what it used to be, but one young Dog will always circle the fixture.

It was in round 17 last year against the Magpies that Lachie Hunter's career took flight.

The diminutive ball-winner debuted in 2013 as an 18-year-old, dropping in and out of the seniors as a young half-forward and putting up with the substitute's vest when it was thrown his way.

Then he won a chance on the Bulldogs wing and didn't look back.

"I got a full game when someone got injured and had a really good day," he told AAP.

"I had 30-odd possessions and it was the first time I got anywhere near that.

"It was the first time I really influenced a game and I thought I might be able to keep doing it."

More than influencing the game, Hunter was best afield.

You could forgive the umpires for missing him in the Brownlow votes, such was Hunter's anonymity.

Not any more.

Hunter hasn't missed a beat since then, as one of three Bulldogs - alongside Marcus Bontempelli and Shane Biggs - to play in every match since.

He's averaged 29 touches a match, locking down a place in one of the league's hottest midfields.

All before his 21st birthday.

Now Hunter is keen to keep stepping up in a campaign where plenty of Bulldogs have been lost to injury.

"Every player who plays a while has that season where you really step up," he said.

"That's been this year for me.

"I've moved from half forward to the wing, I've played every game so far and hopefully can (play them all) throughout the year."

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