MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: Bulldogs head coach Luke Beveridge speaks to his players during an AFL practice match between the Essendon Bombers and the Western Bulldogs at The Hangar on February 23, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

The Western Bulldogs endured a rollercoaster season in 2022, managing to feature in the September action, but suffering a heartbreaking comeback defeat to Fremantle.

The Dogs featured in plenty of the off-season chatter, with Josh Dunkley finally getting his wish to depart the kennel, joining Zaine Cordy, Lachie Hunter and Josh Schache as they headed for the exit.

It wasn't all grim for the Dogs, welcoming Rory Lobb and Liam Jones as valuable inclusions, bolstering their list as they make another push for the top eight come finals time.

Heading into season 2023, with plenty of expectations placed on the club, we have named five burning questions hanging over the heads of the Bulldogs this year.

Back

1. How big of a loss is Josh Dunkley?

The short answer is, of course, a big one. The Bulldogs' reigning best and fairest headed for the doors at the kennel in 2022's trade period, signing a deal with Brisbane for 2023 and beyond.

The premiership Dog featured in 23 games last season, averaging 25.4 disposals in an impressive campaign and will now ply his trade for the Lions, playing both in the midfield and ahead of the ball. Dunkley's departure, while obviously a loss due to his talent, now means that perhaps the battle for midfield minutes won't be as ferocious down at the Dogs.

Dunkley on average attended 50 per cent of centre bounces in 2022, with his now notable absence around the ball, will this be the year we see names like Cody Weightman or Caleb Daniel getting more midfield minutes?

Back