Footballers Zac Burzacott and Mitchell Hardman are already raring to go for pre-season and they are hoping a few new players will join them. Ballarat Bulldogs have a strong record in the Football Integration Development Association, including a grand final appearance in the 2023 open B-grade mixed competition. They have plenty more to prove. The Bulldogs have hosted an open day at their White Flat Oval base with City of Ballarat mayor Des Hudson and Ballarat police members calling in as special guests. Registrations remain open for those who might be interested in joining their football or netball teams. FIDA runs a not-for-profit competition for people with intellectual disabilities to play the game. Hardman, a handy midfielder, has been playing for about five years. He encouraged others to come along and try a training session. "I like that you get to play on a team and that we play as a team," Hardman said. As a Western Bulldogs fan, Hardman said it was pretty cool to play as a Bulldog. The club adopted the Bulldogs in line with the AFL setting up a home base in town. Hardman and Burzacott said they had to get running more this summer to build up fitness and keep up with looming rule changes. The competition is moving from 15-minute to 20-minute quarters. Burzacott, a goal sneak who likes to prop near the posts, was not particularly impressed but he was up for the challenge. He said the Bulldogs were a great team to play football for because they kicked lots of goals. Ballarat Bulldogs' registration day this month attracted a mix of new and returning footballers and netballers. The 2024 season kicks off about April, but the club was aiming to have player lists organised before Christmas then launch into pre-season training about February. Anyone interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Ballarat Bulldogs Football Netball Club on Facebook.