WESTERN Bulldogs recruit Taylor Duryea is expecting to face a pack of chirpy Hawks this Sunday afternoon as he lines up against his former side for the first time.
The dual premiership player for Hawthorn, who joined the Bulldogs on a two-year deal in last season's trade period, is looking forward to getting reacquainted with his ex-teammates in the heat of battle.
"It's exciting, actually. All these guys are mates of mine and people I know well, and people who know me well," Duryea told AFL.com.au.
"I guess it's added an extra layer to the game, probably a little more banter and a bit more emotion. These are games you have to embrace and make the most of, because it's going to be a unique experience for me and hopefully we get a win."
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Duryea's new club enjoyed a hard-fought 17-point victory against Sydney at Marvel Stadium in round one, with the defender contributing 15 disposals and a goal, but he believes more time to jell is needed before we'll see the best of him at Whitten Oval.
"It's always nice to kick a goal, I'd like to be able to have a bit more impact as the season goes on but I'm still feeling out my teammates and how it all works," he said.
"As a backline we just really got what we needed to get done. Everyone chipped in and did their bit, which is rewarding."
The Bulldogs' foes this weekend had an impressive win of their own, with Hawthorn downing Adelaide by 32 points at Adelaide Oval.
Much has been made of Alastair Clarkson's defensive structure that stifled the Crows' attacking threats, and Duryea sees a link to that style under coach Luke Beveridge.
"In some ways it is similar because obviously 'Bevo' and 'Clarko' having a connection there's going to be a bit of crossover," Duryea said.
"Especially now with centre bounces being even numbers, you have to be good in your one-on-ones and being able to provide support for your teammates around you."
"That's one thing that has carried over from my time at Hawthorn – each player tries to help out."
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When it comes to sledging, Duryea anticipates buy-in from several Hawks who have a history of talking the talk and more importantly, walking the walk.
"I couldn't put it down to one bloke because there's a fair few guys who know me well and probably know a few secrets about me," he said.
"I'm expecting a bit of banter. Isaac Smith is full of lip at the best of times, so I imagine he'll say a fair bit, but I'm going to be playing down back, so guys like Jack Gunston and Jarryd Roughead I know really well."
"Both sides coming off good wins against opposition that maybe people thought were going to be better placed. It's going to be an exciting match."