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AFL 2017 Round 21 - Western Bulldogs v GWS Giants

Lewis Young will wear Bob Murphy's former number on his back next year

THE WESTERN Bulldogs have handed out two of their most prestigious numbers to Lewis Young and Josh Dunkley, with the youngsters to don the No.2 and No.5 guernseys respectively in 2018.

Following the retirements of two club greats – Robert Murphy and Matthew Boyd – at the end of the season, the numbers became available for Young and Dunkley to inherit.

Murphy played 312 games for the Dogs between 2000 and 2017 while, after being promoted off the rookie list, Boyd featured in 292 games between 2003 and 2017, including the historic premiership victory in 2016.

"I got a call from 'Bevo' (coach Luke Beveridge) the day before pre-season," Young told the club's website.

"He said, 'we’ve got No.2 here for you, the coaches have decided that you'd be a player that would take that number over, and we'd like to offer it to you.'

"So then there was a decision whether I wanted to take it or not, obviously I did, and I was very humbled to be asked to."

Young, an emerging defender, played seven senior matches after making his debut against Carlton in round 17 last year. 

Dunkley, who has played 24 games for the Dogs, said taking Boyd’s former No.5 gave him "goosebumps".

"The player that he was, not only on field but off field as well," Dunkley said.

"The first day at the footy club, he took me under his wing straight away. It's just a massive honour to wear his number."

Jackson Trengove has been handed the No.8 guernsey, Hayden Crozier will take No.9 and Josh Schache will wear No.13.

Draftee Aaron Naughton will take over Young's former No.33, Ed Richards takes Dunkley's No.20, Callum Porter will wear No.28 and rookie Bill Gowers No.26.