The club did not have high expectations for season 2013, but it would be thrilled by the way the team rallied to finish the year on a high. There was a point when coach Brendan McCartney was under the pump, overshadowed only by the woes experienced by Melbourne coach Mark Neeld midway through the year. There was a light at the end of the tunnel though, and the club pushed through a rough patch to show some real spirit, giving fans hope for 2014.

What worked
The midfield was a real plus for the Bulldogs. With ruckman Will Minson giving his midfielders first use of the ball. Ryan Griffen and Tom Liberatore were able to put in All Australian worthy years. 

Surprise packet
Mitch Wallis. The youngster was in and out of the side early in the season and being overshadowed by his good mate Tom Liberatore. It wasn't until the coach gave him a tagging job that he started to excel. He shut down some elite midfielders this season, including Sydney Swan Josh Kennedy and Adelaide's Patrick Dangerfield. It was an unexpected role for Wallis, but one that he has stepped into without missing a beat.

Ayce Cordy. He's put on a stack of weight and bulked up since joining the club, but failed to make the most of his opportunities at senior level, playing just five games. 

MVP: Ryan Griffen

Best first-year player: Jack Macrae has shown plenty in the midfield this year.

Best win: The club's win over Carlton was a definite high point for the year.

Low Point: The club won its first round clash against the Brisbane Lions but it took until round nine for the team to taste victory again. That run of seven losses was deflating for the Bulldogs and it took plenty of character to turn the ship around.

What needs to improve: The club's forward line. They've got the makings of a strong defence with Michael Talia and Jordan Roughead developing, and the midfield has some promising young talent. It's now about putting a winning score on the board.

Who's done: Daniel Cross will play his last game for the Bulldogs this weekend. It's unknown if he'll play on at another club.

What they need: A key forward. The club will no doubt chase someone like Stewart Crameri from Essendon in the off-season. It's an area the club needs to bolster if it is to challenge the top eight sides in 2014.

Luke Darcy says
"The future looks promising. They are absolutely developing, they are well coached and there is some talent coming through that are all improving which is a good sign.

"We keep hearing about Tom Boyd as a superstar number one draft pick, I would throw everything I could at trying to get him.

"I'd be happy with seven or eight wins from the Western Bulldogs in 2014 with the development and improvement of younger players."