There's no denying it, the Western Bulldogs had a very forgettable 2023 season.

With one of the strongest lists (on paper) in the competition, the Dogs ultimately underperformed in many ways. Whether it was down to coaching, individual player performances or mistakes that shouldn't occur at AFL level, the Dogs lost their bite.

Missing out on finals was perhaps the worst outcome for the club. Despite sneaking into the top eight in 2022, they once again relied on another team's results to see them head into September action.

The Dogs made a few list changes over the trade period, most notably bringing in Saint's defender Nick Coffield and out-of-favour Demon James Harmes. In regards to the club's departures, Jordon Sweet was the only Bulldog sent out of the Kennel. The 25-year-old ruckman was traded to Port Adelaide for pick 50.

In the national draft, the Bulldogs selected Ryley Sanders at pick 6 and father-son recruit Jordan Croft at pick 15. Additionally, the Dogs picked up Joel Freijah, Lachlan Smith and Aiden O'Driscoll at picks 45, 47 and 55.

Bulldogs Taylor Duryea and Lachie McNeil were kept on the list through the Rookie Draft also.

With all this in mind, we had a look at the Bulldogs list and came up with our proposed best 23.

BEST 23s:


1. Defenders

The Dogs' back six remains their weakest link in the side. Key defender Liam Jones will be holding down the fort after a solid first year as a Bulldog in 2022. New recruit Nick Coffield is sure to feature down back, along with rebounder Bailey Dale.

Running off half-back will be the ever-reliable Caleb Daniel and hard runner Ed Richards. The pair transition the footy as well as any duo in the competition and will be hard to stop.

Caleb Daniel during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

Cricketer-turned-footballer James O'Donnell made his way into the side as a key defender in 2022 and will be sure to find regular game time. As the tallest defender in the side, expect O'Donnell to start taking harder matchups during next season.

Off the bench, Norm Smith Medallist Jason Johannisen provides additional run-off half-back and some versatility around the ground when needed.