Dominique Carbone in action during the Western Bulldogs' upset win over Collingwood in Round 10. Picture: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos

After a winless campaign last year, the Western Bulldogs took a big stride forward in 2023 despite moving up just one spot on the rebel VFLW ladder.


Position: 11th
W-L-D (%): 3-11 (84.8%)
Players used: 37
Played every match: 6 – Jorja Borg, Amanda Ling, Tahlia Meier, Caitlin Pickett, Mary Sandral and Freya Taylor
AFLW players used: 2
Debutants: 19 – Molly Althouse, Pamela Amber, London Ashcroft, Ellie Bishop, Roxy Beuzeville, Imahra Cameron, Olivia Fogarty, Erica Greet, Kiara Henry, Brianna McFarlane, Emmalyn Nekrep, Jaimi Paten, Caitlin Pickett, Tallia Pulcino, Isabella Robson, Ashleigh Snow, Jaimi Tabb, Kyla Tracey and Kiera Whiley


Best and Fairest: Equal 1st: Jorja Borg and Dominique Carbone, 3rd: Sarah Skinner, 4th: Caitlin Pickett, 5th: Tahlia Meir
Lambert-Pearce Medal votes: Tahlia Meier (11), Dominique Carbone (6), Jaimi Tabb (4)
Coaches MVP votes: Tahlia Meier (46), Dominique Carbone (38), Sarah Skinner (29)
VFLW Team of the Year representatives: Jorja Borg and Dominque Carbone
Goalkickers: Jaimi Tabb (8), Imahra Cameron (8), Dominique Carbone (7), Mali McLeod (7)


(Averages – Minimum 6 matches)

Disposals: Sarah Skinner (19.4), Dominique Carbone (19.2), Tahlia Meier (18.3)
Kicks: Tahlia Meier (12.8), Sarah Skinner (12.4), Dominique Carbone (11.5)
Handballs: Dominique Carbone (7.7), Sarah Skinner (7.0), Tahlia Meier (5.5)
Marks: Sarah Skinner (3.3), Tahlia Meier (3.1), Imahra Cameron (2.7)
Tackles: Jaimi Tabb (6.8), Tallia Pulcino (6.6), Dominique Carbone (5.9)
Hitouts: Jorja Borg (30.5), Isabella Robson (3.3), Mary Sandral (2.4)
Clearances: Dominique Carbone (5.1), Sarah Skinner (4.0), Tahlia Meier (3.6)
Inside-50s: Sarah Skinner (3.1), Dominique Carbone (2.9), Imahra Cameron (2.3)
Rebound-50s: Tarrah Delgado (3.2), Ashleigh Snow (3.0), Tahlia Meier (2.5)


Huge steps forward after a winless 2022 season. Broke through in style to end the drought against North Melbourne in Round 3 and later landed one of the upsets of the season when they convincingly defeated eventual minor premier and grand finalist Collingwood in Round 10. And they could have won so many more, all while playing without a home ground all season. Jorja Borg starred in the ruck and Dom Carbone did well in the midfield to share the best and fairest and make the rebel VFLW Team of the Year.


Only three wins, but as mentioned above it could have been so much more. The Bulldogs lost five games by less than a goal, including running eventual premiers Port Melbourne to three and four points, plus elimination finalists Box Hill Hawks (one point), Williamstown (five) and last year’s grand finalist Southern Saints (five). Failing to win a game after the upset over Collingwood would be disappointing.


The future is bright at Whitten Oval once again. The Bulldogs used 37 players this season, with remarkably more than half of them (19) making their VFLW debuts. They did that with only two AFLW-listed players in their squad, including the recently delisted Amanda Ling, while Kate McCarthy provided invaluable experience to the young group. Being back on their home deck in 2024 will bring extra cause for optimism.




Darebin Falcons