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Bulldogs straining at leash to train here

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Queenstown will host a prominent Aussie Rules team for a pre-season training camp. 

Melbourne’s Western Bulldogs, who finished fourth in the Australian Football League this season, will base themselves at the Events Centre from December 4-11. 

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard referred ironically to the Bulldogs in May, a month before rolling Kevin Rudd:

“There’s more chance of me becoming the full-forward for the Dogs than there is any chance of a change in the Labour Party.”

The Bulldogs will bring about 45 players, 20 officials and some 10 major club supporters. 

Queenstown was recommended by their physical conditioning coach Bill Davoren, who coached the Australian triathlon team that came here for the 2003 world champs. 

Bulldogs football manager James Fantasia, who checked out the resort’s facilities early this year, says the team will concentrate on conditioning but also take in local adventure activities. 

“It just adds another dimension,” he says. 

The camp will climax with an adventure race put together by local Easyski company owner Matt Rhodes. 

“We might let the players have a night where they can get out amongst the town but pretty much they have routines,” Fantasia says. 

“We’re happy for people to come out to where we’re training and have a first-hand look at an Aussie Rules team. 

“[Queenstown] might be the start of some long-term relationship, so we’re very much looking forward to it.” 

The Bulldogs lost their preliminary final on September 18 to St Kilda Saints, which lost the final against Collingwood in Melbourne in a re-match last Saturday. The teams drew a week earlier. 


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