Rightly so the plaudits for the Doggies’ midfield have been reserved for Jack Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli, as the ball-magnets and superstars have been the star men for the Bulldogs over the last few seasons. However as we speak, another one of their Premiership heroes has shown why he should be called the Bulldog’s best player currently.
Josh Dunkley has been having a terrific season for the Bulldogs’, especially during what has been a topsy-turvy season for Luke Beveridge’s men. Now that he has been unleashed into their midfield and spending less time up forward, Dunkley has had a chance to show-off just how good he is.
For the season he’s been working at a clean 25 disposals, 11 kicks, 6 tackles and going at 76%. His best work has been for the last month, where prior to their match against Carlton Dunkley pulled in hauls of 33, 29 and 21 touches, getting better and better as the weeks progressed.
It was against Carlton that he exploded, balling out with 41 disposals, 17 contested possessions, 19 kicks, 6 intercept possessions, 7 clearances and a whopping 10 tackles, in one of the best performances of the year. He was untouchable and easily the standout player on the ground next to the Blues’ Charlie Curnow, and had it not been for his outing then Carlton would have surely won their second in a row.
As the Dogs have been marred with inconsistency and uncertainty all year, Dunkley has been an ever-present player, serving as a foil to the stars around him as they have been struggling for form week in and week out. Dunkley has only been getting better as the season progresses, and if he keeps up this form he could snag a few Brownlow votes as well as win his clubs Best and Fairest. It’s time he deserves to be elevated to be considered the best at the Kennel.
An honourable mention has to be made for Connor McKenna, whose electric speed off half-back has been vital to Essendon’s finals ambitions, and he proved his worth once again against the Hawks.