Tim Watson has urged the Western Bulldogs to give star young gun Marcus Bontempelli more time as a permanent forward in 2018, declaring him a “matchup nightmare” for the opposition.
The two-time reigning Charlie Sutton medallist has kicked 78 goals in his 85 game career, and the Essendon premiership legend believes his all-round package would allow him to dominate in the air, and at ground level.
“I think the best you get out of Bontempelli is the same you’re going to get of Dangerfield, the same you’re going to get the best out of Fyfe.
“He’s a matchup nightmare and he creates. He’s one of those players who not only does he contest in the air and he’s capable of marking, but he’s so clever when the ball hits the ground.
“He can actually distribute the ball to someone in a better position and create goal scoring opportunities.
“I think he’s an absolute gun, and I think we will see a lot of that this year.”
Despite kicking 100 points and having ten individual goal kickers in their JLT Community series win over Hawthorn, former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon is still concerned whether the Bulldogs have the right mix in their attack and the potential to kick big scores under pressure.
These are issues he feels may ensure they won’t rebound back into finals football, after a disappointing premiership defence.
“Part of it is their ability to score, the ability to convert their opportunities once they go forward. I’m not sure they’ve got the makeup right,” he said.
“I think they’ve got seven or eight blokes who are 198 centimetres plus, I don’t know how they balance up (Jack) Redpath, (Josh) Schache, (Tom) Boyd, (Jordan) Roughead, how they fit inside their forward 50 and whether it’s the right matchup going forward.”
The Bulldogs complete their pre-season preparations on Saturday when they play Collingwood at Moe’s Ted Summerton Reserve.
Originally published on SEN.com.au