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Dogs will be trade players: McCartney

Peter Ryan  September 1, 2013 9:13 PM

Post-match: Bulldogs Watch Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney's post-match press conference
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Daniel Cross leaves the field for the final time as a Bulldog

I think we still have a few lesser known players who have a lot of growth in them

THE WESTERN Bulldogs will still be active during the forthcoming exchange period despite a solid end to the season, according to coach Brendan McCartney.

However the main focus will be on bringing youth through the draft as it continues to build a team for the future.

The club has made it clear it needs some key position players and has reportedly made a large offer to Essendon forward Stewart Crameri.

The Bulldogs won four of their last six games for the season and showed positive signs that they may be emerging from a tough period.

But coach Brendan McCartney was under no illusions and reminded his players after the win over Melbourne that the club still finished 15th.

He said he was proud they had stuck to their guns and continued down the path of teaching the players a style of football that could stand up in finals.

"We've still got a lot of young people in our club and a fair few of them weren't playing at the end of the year because they ran out of gas or got injured so there is a still an extraordinary amount of young, developing people," McCartney said.

Father-son selections Lachie Hunter, Mitch Wallis and Tom Liberatore look promising, as does Tom Campbell up forward.

Jackson Macrae and Jake Stringer are talented youngsters who played about half the season in their first year.

Luke Dahlhaus fought through a slump while Jarrad Grant and Tory Dickson re-emerged as players.

"I think we may have breathed a bit of life into a few people who were just teetering on the edge and supposedly externally maybe weren't going far with the footy," McCartney said.

"I think we still have a few lesser known players who have a lot of growth in them."

McCartney said it was becoming evident to him in the past few weeks that the team was tiring slightly and this week was no different.

However the second quarter, when the Bulldogs kicked nine goals to Melbourne's two, showed the team's capability.

"We probably played well for about two-thirds of the game. The second quarter tonight was scintillating footy. It was tough, brave, aggressive, great to watch and then we couldn't sustain it," McCartney said.