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'Dogs cautioned on grand AFL emotions

AAP logoAAP 25/09/2016 Roger Vaughan

AFL premiership stars are divided on whether the Western Bulldogs are setting themselves up for a grand final fall.

The Bulldogs' wild celebrations on Saturday after their preliminary final win over the Giants were in strong contrast to Sydney the night before when they beat Geelong.

Unlike Sydney, who are in their third grand final since 2012, this is new territory for the Bulldogs.

Leigh Matthews, who has eight premierships as a player and coach, is concerned that the Bulldogs might be tiring themselves out emotionally a week early.

"The Swans did what you should do - they celebrated the preliminary final, but they're ready for next week," he told Channel Seven's Game Day.

"I've never seen a team celebrate a preliminary final win like the Bulldogs.

"They have to be a bit careful they don't get fatigued, going a bit early.

"The momentum they're in the middle of can be envigorating, as long as it doesn't exhaust you as well.

"Internally the club has to - today - get everyone back onto 'all we've done is one step along the way'."

Hawks two-time premiership player Brad Sewell also noted the Bulldogs had to be careful about how they handle the unique challenges of grand final week.

"All year, we've been riding this emotional train with the Bulldogs, through the course of the injuries," Sewell said.

"It's so hard not to get caught up in all that, but ... the 'Dogs need to be wary of that and bring themselves down."

But another Hawk, four-time premiership star Sam Mitchell, praised the 'Dogs for their unbridled joy.

"I'm loving ... the emotion - most teams (after) a preliminary final try to keep it in, but not the Bulldogs, they let it all out," he told Channel Nine's Footy Show.

Essendon great Matthew Lloyd, a key member of their 2000 premiership team, also said their preliminary final celebrations were nothing new.

"I've seen them celebrate like that (after) every final," he said.

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