After making the Grand Final last year, the Western Bulldogs fell short of expectations in AFL season 2022. The Dogs snuck into the finals in eighth place, but would eventually fall short to Fremantle in a blistering elimination final comeback.

But even in a down year, the Bulldogs hold a healthy list with some high-end talent coming through their ranks.

The arrival of some fresh faces at Whitten Oval could shoot the Western Bulldogs straight back into premiership contention, though the imminent departure of midfielder Josh Dunkley sets them back.

Lachie Hunter is another who could leave the club after the winger had a rocky 10-game season and took time away from the AFL for personal issues.

Despite two midfielders potentially on the move, the Bulldogs are still in need of key position stocks. The club will be looking to add another key defender to their list after inconsistent years from Alex Keath and Zaine Cordy.

Defender Liam Jones seems likely to rejoin his old club, but may not be the elite stopper the Dogs need after time away from the AFL.

The Bulldogs have Picks 11 29, 37 and 65 available should they need them in a trade.


1. Darcy Gardiner

The 27-year-old defender could add some much-needed experience to the Western Bulldogs' backline.

Darcy Gardiner is a restricted free agent and yet to sign the multi-year deal offered by the Brisbane Lions. Several Victorian clubs are monitoring the situation, with the Bulldogs shaping as a great fit for the Lion.

The key defender has 154 games under his belt at AFL level, with 21 of those coming this year in a deep finals run.

Even at 192cm, Gardiner has been able to lock up the competition's best forwards when needed, holding Jeremy Cameron to a goal despite a lop-sided preliminary finals defeat.

Gardiner could also take the 2nd or 3rd defender and allow one of Keath or Ryan Gardner to attack and intercept the ball.

With Dunkley choosing Brisbane as his preferred destination, Gardiner is an option for the Bulldogs in what will be a complicated trade.

Darcy Gardiner during the round 22 AFL match between St Kilda and Brisbane on August 12, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)