WESTERN Bulldogs veteran Liam Picken believes the Dogs have the players to replace the recently retired Matthew Boyd and Robert Murphy.
The Hamilton export feels the Bulldogs’ depth can fill the large void left by the outgoing club legends.
“It's going to be interesting without Murph and Boydy, they have given so much to the club over the years,” he said.
“But I think the advantage of our side over the last two years has been that when someone went down or left, someone else would step up and take their opportunity.
“We have so many guys who can play across that half-back line, so they will be able to step into their shoes.”
Players such as Jason Johannisen, Shane Biggs and Matt Suckling are three Bulldogs who could step up into the hole left by Murphy and Boyd.
Western Bulldogs forward Picken is currently relaxing in the south-west after a tough first half of pre-season, which included a camp to Torquay.
“Pre-season has been going really good, we’ve been training for a little bit longer than previous seasons, suppose missing the finals gives you the opportunity train a bit longer,” he said.
“We had really good camp in Torquay, it was hard and challenging, and we had some really good fun too and there is a really good feeling around the club.
“It was great to go on a camp like that just before the Christmas break. It's a good change up from doing stuff on the footy field and gives everyone the opportunity to bond together, especially all the new guys.”
Those new Bulldogs are experienced campaigners in Jackson Trengove (Port Adelaide), Hayden Crozier (Fremantle) and promising young forward Josh Schache (Brisbane). The trio brings senior experience to cover the loss of seasoned campaigners Boyd, Murphy and the traded Jake Stringer.
“The new boys are fitting in really well and they have transitioned really easily into the club,” Picken said.
“It’s great to be able to get some experience back into the club and they are all different players who can make us a more versatile side.”
Picken has enjoyed his time back in the south-west, relaxing before he tackles his 10th season in the AFL, where he sits on 198 career games.
“I really enjoy it when I come back down to the south-west,” he said.
“I've had a bit of time at my parent’s place in Hamilton and I have come down to Port Fairy. To spend that time with the family, when you live so far away from them is really good.
“My three kids now love it here and I love coming down here with them and enjoying this part of the area. The city and here are two completely different places, they have the freedom here and they love it when they visit.”