Western Bulldogs star Brooke Lochland is looking forward to the trip to Ballarat next weekend for what will be a major part of the club’s AFLW pre-season preparations.
Lochland will be one of 30 Bulldogs players in town next Saturday for a practice match against Collingwood at Mars Stadium.
The clash is the one and only practice game for the reigning premiers, which are getting set to take on the Adelaide Crows in round one on Saturday, February 2. That fixture will be played under lights at Norwood Oval.
Lochland, who played in the Bulldogs’ maiden AFLW premiership last season, said a clash with the Magpies would be an ideal way to get ready to take on the Crows.
“It will be really good for us to prepare for Adelaide because Adelaide and Collingwood are pretty similar in that they’ve got some hard bodies, so it will be a great hit-out for us to get used to the physical side of things,” Lochland told The Courier.
“It obviously gives a chance for all 30 girls in the squad to get out there and try different positions as well.”
Lochland said the Western Bulldogs squad took some time off to enjoy the premiership success, but now it was back to business in the hope of going back-to-back.
“You’ve definitely got to take some time out to celebrate it because it’s obviously something that doesn’t happen often and might not ever happen again,” Lochland said.
“We are looking forward to another season. We don’t think about the premiership now. We are just looking at another season and going through the process playing how we want to play.”
Lochland was part of the Western Bulldogs side that took on Carlton in a pre-season practice game at Mars Stadium before the 2018 season and said she liked playing at the venue.
“We enjoy going to Ballarat,” she said.
“Obviously we’ve expanded the Western Bulldogs community into there and it’s great playing on such an A class ground.”
Lochland had a 2018 campaign to remember, winning the flag while also taking out the AFLW leading goal-kicker award. The forward was also named in the All-Australian side.
The 27-year-old was drafted to the Bulldogs with their seventh selection and 53rd overall in the 2016 draft. Lochland debuted in round one of the 2017 season, with the side winning that clash against Fremantle.
Next Saturday’s game is set to kick off from 5pm, with gates open at Mars Stadium from 4pm.
Entry to the match is free.