Bulldogs set for three-pronged AFL attack

By AAP Newswire

Josh Schache has no doubt the Western Bulldogs can deploy a three-pronged attack against Collingwood in round one.

The 22-year-old is fully aware that fielding himself (199cm), ex-Saint Josh Bruce (197cm) and Aaron Naughton (195cm) would make for one of the AFL's more top-heavy forward lines.

But Schache believes the trio have enough points of difference to co-exist.

"I definitely feel confident we can all play in the same team," he told AAP on Friday.

"We all bring different things to the table - whether that's getting up the ground for me, or Brucey and Naughton taking contested marks."

The Seymour product, currently back home on a four-day break, said he had relished the chance to learn from Bruce, who booted 168 goals in 99 games for St Kilda before crossing to Whitten Oval.

But another part of Schache's football education came through an elimination finals exit at the hands of Greater Western Sydney, which ended his first taste of finals earlier than expected.

"Going out like that - it really stays with you," the fifth-year player said.

"The intensity, the atmosphere, even the build up was huge ... and that drives you to want more."

The Western Bulldogs were hit with two hamstring injuries - to veteran defender Easton Wood and utility Lin Jong - earlier this week.

But Schache said an otherwise clean bill had injected some healthy pressure on all players to perform ahead of his side's first pre-season game next Friday night against North Melbourne.

And part of this competition for spots, he believes, could well come from the Bulldogs' No.15 draft pick Cody Weightman, a small forward with some razzle-dazzle.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Cody debuted this year," Schache said.

"He's really classy and always knows where the goals are, but his forward pressure and athleticism have also been impressive - he's taken a few nice marks at training."

"He's definitely got a bag of tricks."