TURVEY Park plans to limit their travelling contingent to three players next season and put the faith in their young brigade after a strong finish this year.
With Canberra and Victoria-based players unavailable due to COVID-19 for the last few games of the season, the Bulldogs' youngster took their chance in strong wins over top four sides Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes and Wagga Tigers.
Ruckman Shaun Allan and fellow Canberra-based players Stephen Camp and Ash Harris will return for a second season, and coach Michael Mazzocchi is confident their youth will now have the confidence and experience to improve further.
The Bulldogs paid the price for a slow start to the season after finishing sixth, before the season cancellation before the last round could be played denied them a chance to sneak into finals.
"Our preference is to not get any more travellers. We've still got Shaun Allan, Stephen Camp and Ash Harris and that's three travellers, which is probably enough. The rest we'd prefer to be training and with the group," Mazzocchi said.
"They (young players) were playing their best footy and game style at the end of the year. We had eight to ten players out for those last couple of games (through COVID restrictions), but the local young fellas were playing some great footy.
"It came together as I hoped with finishing the season off strong, and that was without a lot of our better players. Their average age was about 21 and the backline's was 18."
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Mazzocchi said the club had been working diligently for some time on ensuring they're prepared to make a submission to be included in the new-look premier league in 2023.
"I know the committee's been talking about it for a couple of months, getting things in place with submissions and making sure things are done properly," he said.
"Being a part of the premier league is the number one priority. We've got a fantastic strong junior club which is so well run, that's a big advantage for us.
"The last box we had to tick was a senior female side and that looks like happening next year."
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