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Boyd on bonus time as Dogs eye AFL repeat

AAP logoAAP 4/12/2016 Michael Ramsey

After winning an elusive premiership in his 14th AFL season, Western Bulldogs defender Matthew Boyd happily admits he's now on bonus time.

Boyd will be one of several veterans anchoring the Bulldogs' backline next year alongside captain Bob Murphy and Dale Morris.

At 34, Boyd admits the Bulldogs' historic premiership triumph would have been a pretty good way to finish his career.

But with the full squad returning to training on Monday, Boyd said he was feeling fresh and had no shortage of motivation to strive for another flag after signing a one-year contract extension.

"I've probably felt like I've been on bonus time for a couple of years to be perfectly honest," he said.

"The fact I've enjoyed my footy so much has been a huge bonus for me. I'm very lucky and blessed to have been a part of our first premiership in 62 years but that's last (season) and now we're looking to 2017.

"We certainly have that mindset that we're never satisfied and we want to go again, we want to do it better and we'll be working our butts off to make that happen."

One of the AFL's most durable veterans, Boyd said he was feeling good "for an old fella" and had not required any post-season surgery.

He has the opportunity to become just the sixth Bulldog to reach 300 games if he can keep his place in the team next year.

But while many premiership teams lose players through retirement or trades, the Bulldogs find themselves having to accommodate extra depth as they aim for back-to-back flags.

Murphy is likely to return for round one after tearing his ACL in round three of this season, while fellow veteran Matt Suckling and talented youngsters Marcus Adams and Lin Jong will also be in the mix.

Former Magpies forward Travis Cloke will press his case for selection in the forward line, as will Stewart Crameri, who was one of 34 past and present Essendon players banned for the 2016 season.

"When you look at the side that played the grand final last year, we probably had a few players that would have been a handy inclusion in that side," Boyd said.

"Hopefully (during) the off-season and the pre-season, those boys will come back fitter and stronger, and what that does is adds competition for spots and raises the standards of training and performance.

"It's a good position for the coaches to be in and a good position for us as a footy club."

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