A chance positional change in the pre-season has ultimately paved the way for Western Bulldogs gun Bailey Dale to produce his career-best year in 2021.
So good has Dale been off the halfback line in his breakout season that he is being touted as a potential All-Australian, averaging 24 touches a game, ranking No.1 at the club for rebound-50s and also third in the competition for running bounces, behind only Adam Saad and Oleg Markov, as well as ninth for metres gained.
As late as January, Dale was still expecting to play in a forward/wing role this season, but a move to the back pocket in a practice match scuppered those plans, and reset the 25-year-old onto a course to be one of the most damaging defenders in the AFL.
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