Herald Sun journalist Jon Ralph has named the three ideal trade targets for the Western Bulldogs this off-season.
The Bulldogs’ season came to a close on Saturday night at the Gabba after they were beaten by St Kilda by three points in the elimination final.
It marked the second-straight season that the Bulldogs were knocked out in the opening week of the finals.
Speaking after his side’s lost to the Saints, coach Luke Beveridge confirmed the club would not be “idle” during the upcoming trade period as they continue to look at ways to improve their list.
Speaking on Fox Sports’ News AFL Tonight, Ralph believes the Bulldogs should have their sights set on a ruckman and a key defender.
“While Luke Beveridge might’ve talked about ‘vulnerabilities’, he might’ve said ‘we need a player like Todd Goldstein, we need a player like Ben McEvoy’. I think they’re the two rucks who would be perfect, they’d be the sensei to the apprentice in Tim English,” Ralph told AFL Tonight.
“Everyone believes English will be a great player in two or three years, but as much as Braydon Preuss is clearly on the market, clearly people have speculated about him, but are you going to play both of those players for the foreseeable future?
“I think that’s where someone like a Goldstein would enter the equation and play those three years and then retire. He’s very insistent about the fact he’s very keen to stay at North Melbourne, but at least you would ask the question of him. And maybe with so many players departing North Melbourne, maybe that position might change in coming weeks.”
As for a backman, Ralph suggested the Bulldogs target Crows veteran Daniel Talia to boost their defensive stocks.
Talia’s former teammate Alex Keath joined the Bulldogs ahead of this season and has played a key role as an interceptor in their back six. However, Ralph believes they still lack a key-position defender.
“Whether there’s truth to that (he could leave the Crows), again, I think he’d be the perfect player for the next two or three years,” Ralph said.
“Alex Keath who came across has been a real success, but he’s had to play not as the interceptor but as the genuine key-position player. Ryan Gardner? Talia would be a significant upgrade from him. He only turned 29 in the last couple of days.”