IT'S been two years light on football for Callum Dooley, but it didn't take long for the Turvey Park recruit to get a taste of the 'hard nosed' country game he's heard about.
The Bulldogs were jumped early by a hungry Collingullie-Glenfield Park in round one, conceding nine unanswered first quarter goals in a 46-point defeat.
But Melbourne-based inside midfielder Dooley relished the contest, and is confident he will soon be back to his best.
The 26-year-old didn't play football last year for Victorian Amateur League club De La Salle due to work commitments, while COVID shut down all football in Melbourne the year before.
"They were pretty ferocious at the footy. It's a bit different to Melbourne," he said.
"It's definitely tougher. You always hear that country footy is more hard-nosed and it's definitely true, you don't get any of the private school boys up there.
"They attacked with intent, it's very different to what we cop down here. I'm a WA boy and it reminded me of back home.
"They came out and hit it with us straight away and I love that type of footy."
Dooley was convinced to join the Bulldogs through a link with Jesse Margosis, who has also returned to the club this season.
Dooley's partner is the sister of Margosis' fiance.
"He just teed me up over the off season asking if I wanted to play, and I thought it would be something different," he said.
"It's good for the missus too as she has family up there, and it's easier to have someone to drive up with each weekend."
Dooley intends to play every match and said Turvey Park coach Michael Mazzocchi had already made it clear they need to be more focused early in this Saturday's trip to Narrandera.
"I don't know too much about the league, but 'Zocc' is pretty adamant we can't take the game easy as they'll come at us hard," Dooley said.
"Unlike round one we have to make sure we're really switched on for the first 20 to 25 minutes, and set the tone early.
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