Related: Weekend footy teams
Competitiveness around the ball will be the key factor for Golden Square in Saturday's BFNL match of the round clash with Eaglehawk, according to coach Bernie Haberman.
The Bulldogs' coach admitted his midfield group had been "bullied" by the Borough in two defeats to the premiers in 2018.
He doesn't expect that to be the case at Wade Street on Saturday.
"Last year their midfield was bigger and stronger than us and we got bullied,'' Haberman said.
"I hope we've gone some way to rectifying that by adding Liam Barrett, the improvement of Ryan Hartley, Hamish Morcom and Alex Marklew have played through there.
"Our depth in the midfield is much better.
"When Eaglehawk gets on a run they can score really quickly, so we need to be better through the midfield."
Both teams enter the round five match with 4-1 records.
The Bulldogs haven't beaten a top five side this year, with their only clash with a genuine premiership contender a heavy loss to Strathfieldsaye.
"We've beat the sides below us pretty well and the only side we've played around us (Strathfieldsaye) belted us,'' Haberman said.
"We're excited to see if we've made any ground on the top sides. We'd like to think we have, but we'll know more on Saturday afternoon."
Both teams received positive news at the selection table.
The Bulldogs regain key forwards Travis Baird and Jordan Rosengren, while the Borough will welcome back key defenders Tim Hill and Clayton Holmes as well as swingman Brenton Conforti.
The reigning premier Hawks haven't looked as potent in 2019, but Haberman isn't buying the theory that they're inferior.
"Eaglehawk's best footy is still pretty awesome. Their forward line is still dynamic, their midfield is still really strong and they still have good key defenders,'' Haberman said.
"Where they are dangerous in the forward line is each of their players can play high half-forward or deep in the forward line.
"They're hard to match-up on."
Haberman was proud of the way Golden Square's quintet - Jack Geary, Adam Baird, Jayden Burke, Liam Barrett and Jake Thrum - performed in last week's inter-league win over Outer East.
"Our guys really embrace inter-league footy and want to play,'' Haberman said.
"I respect that. Obviously, I want them to be fit for our footy, but you only get limited opportunities to play at that level. It was good to see them do well."
The Square-Eaglehawk game at Wade Street starts earlier at 1.30pm because of the Bulldogs' Hall of Fame function on Saturday night.
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