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Plenty of fight in AFL's new 'Dog Stringer
Ed Jackson
22:00 AEST Thu Nov 22 2012

Don't expect to hear Western Bulldogs draftee Jake Stringer complaining too much when the going gets tough during his first AFL pre-season.

The 18-year-old forward from Bendigo overcame a sickening broken leg suffered last year to achieve his dream of becoming an AFL player after the Bulldogs chose him with pick No.5 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday night.

While his injury probably cost him a chance of being picked up in last year's mini-draft, nothing was going to stop Stringer from returning to the football field.

And he believes the journey back to fitness will be something to draw on when times get tough at Whitten Oval in the next few months.

"Nothing's going to be way too hard for me," Stringer told AAP before crediting his family and girlfriend for getting him to the AFL.

"I've gone through stages where I couldn't walk and stuff like that.

"I just can't wait to be able to get out there with the boys and run around."

That resolve and determination was part of what impressed the Bulldogs, who decided to take a punt that his injury won't stop him becoming a star.

Bulldogs recruiting manager Jason McCartney said Stringer had been closely looked at by the club's medical staff and they were confident they'd made the right choice.

"Just his form this year," McCartney told AAP when asked what attracted them to Stringer.

"The way he's been able to play at VFL level against AFL-listed players, when, let's face it, he was probably at 60 per cent fitness capacity because he was unable to train most of the year.

"We think there's enormous scope with Jake for development when he gets full fitness."


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