WAGGA footballer Matt Suckling is one win away from a third consecutive AFL grand final appearance.
Suckling’s timing could not be better as his new club Western Bulldogs upset his old home Hawthorn last Friday night to end the Hawks’ three-year reign.
The Bulldogs’ are one win away from their first grand final appearance since 1961 and only new boys Greater Western Sydney (GWS) stand in their way.
Suckling said the dream is well and truly alive.
“It’s amazing. The last couple of weeks have been very exciting,” Suckling said.
“Into another prelim final, it’s probably the most nervewracking weekend of footy, this one, but really excited.
“I think we said pretty much the whole way through the year that it’s such an even competition that whoever finds form at the right time of year can win it. Finishing seventh wasn’t ideal but it’s all even now.”
After upset wins over West Coast and Hawthorn, the Bulldogs are riding a wave of momentum.
“Yeah, it’s really exciting. The support from the Doggies fans has been amazing over the last few weeks,” he said.
“I think the boys are trying to ride that wave at the moment. It’s just crazy to be in another prelim.
“After round 23 when we got pumped by (Fremantle), I suppose a lot of people had written us off. That game probably hurt us a little bit but the last couple of weeks have been really exciting and the way everyone’s played has been fantastic.”
Suckling has battled an achilles injury for most of the second half of the season and it is a problem that has not gone away.
“It’s something I’ve been managing for the back half of the year. This week’s no different, I’ll just try to train (Thursday) and then it should be good to go on Saturday,” he said.
With a grand final only one win away, the 28-year-old said he expects to be declared fit to play.
“As I have been the last few weeks, I’ve just got to get out on the training track and tick the boxes there,” he said.