CONFIDENCE is the secret to young Western Bulldogs midfielder Jack Macrae's blistering early form this year.

The 19-year-old played 13 games in an impressive debut season in 2013, and was named the Bulldogs' best first-year player.

Determined not to become complacent, Macrae has already taken his game to another level in just his second year of AFL.

The Bulldogs' pick six in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft had 28 and 30 disposals in the club's NAB Challenge matches against St Kilda and Fremantle respectively.

That early form has continued into the season proper with Macrae gathering 31 possessions and kicking two goals in the Bulldogs' round one loss to West Coast.

"I think through the pre-season I've been building my form and my body and growing from last year," Macrae told

"I'm more confident in my ability and position on the ground. It's good to play some consistent footy and hopefully it can translate into some wins."

The teenager spent the off-season working on the defensive aspect of his game, as well as toiling with high performance manager Justin Cordy to try to add a few more kilograms to his 191cm, 83kg frame.  

"I do have certain areas that I want to improve but mainly all areas - my strength, my kicking, my defensive side especially," Macrae said.

"I really wanted to improve and become a complete two-way player.

"I'm still only 19 years old [and] there's still a lot of room for improvement, so I've been working with Justin Cordy. He's been terrific this year with everyone.

"Going through the stats over the pre-season, we've upped our volume by over 100 per cent almost, so a huge step up from pre-season and hopefully we can build on that."

Bulldogs veteran Bob Murphy mentored Macrae in his first season, while coach Brendan McCartney has also been credited with having a big impact on the teenager's improvement.

"It's been huge [McCartney's influence]," Macrae said.

"Coming from under 18s, I was probably a bit more of an outside, uncontested player and [McCartney] has really preached the contested side of the game, which doesn't come naturally to me, so that's been really good.

"When I was drafted I was lucky enough to be partnered with Bob Murphy, who is a great player at this club and a great person in the AFL.

"If I had a career like his, I'd be pretty happy."

The Bulldogs will be looking for their first win of season 2014 when they face North Melbourne on Sunday at Etihad Stadium.

Macrae said the team was keen to rebound after a disappointing performance against the Eagles.

"It was a long flight over to Perth and the conditions were pretty hot. We've got another game coming up in a week," he said.

"We'll recover first and go through the tape and work with the line coaches on what areas we need to improve and we're pretty confident on bouncing back."