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

Western Bulldogs midfielder Bailey Smith has addressed his future at Whitten Oval, as well as discussed his interests outside of football.

Smith wasn't able to impose himself in 2023 as much as during previous midfield-heavy seasons; his 23.5 disposal-per-game average this year was down from 2022's mean of 29.1, while his inside-50s, clearances, and rebound-50s numbers were all down, too.

Speaking to Seven reporter Mitch Cleary on Sunday, Smith discussed being subjected to a predominantly wing role during the 2023 campaign by coach Luke Beveridge, admitting it was hard to accept not playing as an inside midfielder.

"I probably wasn't as good at just accepting the role throughout the year, I did a bit, but I was more just 'I want to play in the midfield'," Smith said via Seven.

As for continuing his career in Bulldogs colours, the 22-year-old was categorical speaking of his intentions.

"I just want to keep fuelling the fire there (at the Bulldogs), and I just want to go all the way, and the red, white, and blue is the best place to do it," stated Smith.

As questions about his form hung over his head for a large portion of the 2023 season, Smith conceded he was a culprit of 'overtraining', declaring his obsession with perfecting his craft.

Alternatively, his newfound passion for the business sector has provided Smith with a sense of purpose outside of his occasionally burdensome football commitments.

"There's only so much you can train, and I've fallen into the trap of overtraining and being too obsessed, on my days off I can surf [and] go play golf, but [I'm] more into building businesses, [it's] something that I'm passionate about."

While the ever-popular Smith seems a certainty to remain at the Kennel for the foreseeable future, his Bulldogs still figure to be major players during this off-season's player movement and exchange space.

For starters, out-of-favour ruckman Jordon Sweet is a near-guarantee to find his way to Port Adelaide via trade in October, having requested a move to his home state of South Australia after numerous years spent in All-Australian ruck Tim English's shadow.

RELATED: Off-contract Bulldog officially requests trade

Meanwhile, in terms of importing assets this year, the Bulldogs could be poised to make a play for the No. 4 draft selection, currently held by the Gold Coast Suns.

The Dogs will need the requisite capital to match a potential first-round bid for father-son prospect Jordan Croft, whose father, Matthew, played 186 games for the club.

The Bulldogs, led by list manager Sam Power, currently hold picks 10, 17, 36, 63, 66, and 84 at November's festivities, with selections 10 and 17 shaping as the minimum basis for a potential deal with the Suns.


This year's trade period officially gets going on October 9, following the commencement of free agency on October 6.