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Ross making his home in defence at Bulldogs

Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 11:44 PM
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EMERGING South Fremantle defender Dylan Ross has played two Foundation Derbies now and won on both occasions but even more importantly the former Claremont forward is making the centre half-back position at the Bulldogs his own.

Ross came through the ranks at Claremont as a key forward but could only break in for eight league games over 2009 and 2010 with the Tigers before making the tough decision to up and leave the club he grew up with and all his close friends were at for more opportunity.
That saw him arrive at South Fremantle ahead of the 2011 season and the first two years had its ups and downs as he adjusted to life at his new club, but now in 2013 he has found a regular spot at centre half-back and has been terrific playing every game for the season to date.
His ability to read the ball coming into the defensive 50 and chop of opposition kicks to take strong marks has been his strength while he's also been more than handy in setting up play coming out of the back-line as well.
That was best illustrated in last Sunday's Foundation Derby when he had 22 possessions and took 10 marks in South Fremantle's 67-point win over East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval.
The 23-year-old also played in the Bulldogs' 2011 Foundation Derby win over the Sharks on debut for South Fremantle so he has certainly enjoyed his first two tastes of the most traditional of WAFL encounters having missed out on playing in 2012. 
"I have certainly noticed what a big deal the Foundation Day derbies are here since I came across from Claremont and how important it is to win them, so this was a great win for us," Ross said.
"It's always good to have a win obviously and it's always good to beat East Freo, but I think we just did what we needed to do and went on our way. We have been doing the hard work on the track during the week so it's a good result in the end.
"Every game we've played we have been in it maybe apart from last week against Claremont. We have been there abouts in most games, but it was all about focusing on putting four quarters together and that's what we did this week."
It hasn’t always been easy being in South Fremantle's defence so far in 2013, but Ross enjoyed it on Sunday and feels that he is perhaps even best suited to the back-line than up forward even though he was largely used in attack in colts, reserves and league football at Claremont.
"It was good down back this week getting a bit of a rest which is what can happen when the boys further up the ground are doing so well," he said.
"I am enjoying it down back now. Obviously when I was at Claremont I played a fair bit forward, but I seem to read the play a bit easier in the back-line and I have been finding it easier having the game in front of me like that.
"I'm definitely getting more confidence that I belong out there each week that I play. It's been good that the coaches have given me a run and I get more and more confidence out of that all the time. It's been good."
Ross is also enjoying the mix in the back-line at the moment that he is developing with youngsters Nick Borovac, Brendon Gulley, Jason Maskos, Adam Carter and Mitch Carter, with Craig White and Adam McIntosh adding some experience down there.
He hopes they stick together for years to come.
"Hopefully over the next four or five years we can really form a strong bond there in the back-line and we will try to form the best defence in the WAFL," he said.
"We have a lot of guys there like the two Carter brothers, Borovac, Gulley and there's even Jason Maskos has played a bit of footy this year. Hopefully we can stick together and do well as a unit down there for a long time now."
Ross didn’t take his decision to leave Claremont at the end of the 2010 season coming off playing in the reserves premiership lightly, but now that he is in his third year with South Fremantle and playing the best football of his career he has no doubt he made the right decision.
"It was definitely one of the hardest decisions I made and I do still have a lot of close mates there at Claremont," Ross said.
"Maybe in the first year I didn’t make the transition as well as I could have and was still hanging around with my Claremont mates, but I have definitely fully bought in now and am really enjoying the boys down here. I have a lot of mates here now and my footy is better for it. I definitely made the right move."
Helping Ross feel even more at home with the Bulldogs has been the arrival of Ben Saunders and Alistair Gillespie over the past two seasons, and he was especially happy to see his close mate Gillespie play such a big role in the Foundation Derby with three goals and 27 possessions.
"I played colts footy with Dizzy so I'm pretty good mates with him and it's always good to have another couple of Claremont boys here," he said.
"We had Woodsy here as well so there were three or four of us, and it's always good to have some familiar faces around when you are trying to settle in at new club.
"It was good for Dizzy. He is a bit of a confidence player so it's good when he gets his hand on the footy and I was rapt to see him play such a good game."
Ross and South Fremantle now are looking to continue its good form from the derby this Saturday against Subiaco at Leederville's Medibank Stadium.
"We just have to make sure we switch on again this week and roll on to take on Subiaco with the same intensity we showed this week in the derby. Subi beat Claremont as well so we have to make sure we are switched on and things might go our way again," Ross said.
"We were in that game last time against Subi most of the day, but then had a few lapses of concentration for 10 or 15 minutes and that cost us. If we stay switched on for four quarters and bring on this sort of performance that we had against East Fremantle, then we will be a good chance of beating them."
By Chris PikeEMERGING South Fremantle defender Dylan Ross has played two Foundation Derbies now and won on both occasions but even more importantly the former Claremont forward is making the centre half-back position at the Bulldogs his own.

Ross came through the ranks at Claremont as a key forward but could only break in for eight league games over 2009 and 2010 with the Tigers before making the tough decision to up and leave the club he grew up with and all his close friends were at for more opportunity.

That saw him arrive at South Fremantle ahead of the 2011 season and the first two years had its ups and downs as he adjusted to life at his new club, but now in 2013 he has found a regular spot at centre half-back and has been terrific playing every game for the season to date.

His ability to read the ball coming into the defensive 50 and chop of opposition kicks to take strong marks has been his strength while he's also been more than handy in setting up play coming out of the back-line as well.

That was best illustrated in last Sunday's Foundation Derby when he had 22 possessions and took 10 marks in South Fremantle's 67-point win over East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval.

The 23-year-old also played in the Bulldogs' 2011 Foundation Derby win over the Sharks on debut for South Fremantle so he has certainly enjoyed his first two tastes of the most traditional of WAFL encounters having missed out on playing in 2012. 

"I have certainly noticed what a big deal the Foundation Day derbies are here since I came across from Claremont and how important it is to win them, so this was a great win for us," Ross said.

"It's always good to have a win obviously and it's always good to beat East Freo, but I think we just did what we needed to do and went on our way. We have been doing the hard work on the track during the week so it's a good result in the end.

"Every game we've played we have been in it maybe apart from last week against Claremont. We have been there abouts in most games, but it was all about focusing on putting four quarters together and that's what we did this week."

It hasn’t always been easy being in South Fremantle's defence so far in 2013, but Ross enjoyed it on Sunday and feels that he is perhaps even best suited to the back-line than up forward even though he was largely used in attack in colts, reserves and league football at Claremont.

"It was good down back this week getting a bit of a rest which is what can happen when the boys further up the ground are doing so well," he said.

"I am enjoying it down back now. Obviously when I was at Claremont I played a fair bit forward, but I seem to read the play a bit easier in the back-line and I have been finding it easier having the game in front of me like that.

"I'm definitely getting more confidence that I belong out there each week that I play. It's been good that the coaches have given me a run and I get more and more confidence out of that all the time. It's been good."

Ross is also enjoying the mix in the back-line at the moment that he is developing with youngsters Nick Borovac, Brendon Gulley, Jason Maskos, Adam Carter and Mitch Carter, with Craig White and Adam McIntosh adding some experience down there.

He hopes they stick together for years to come.

"Hopefully over the next four or five years we can really form a strong bond there in the back-line and we will try to form the best defence in the WAFL," he said.

"We have a lot of guys there like the two Carter brothers, Borovac, Gulley and there's even Jason Maskos has played a bit of footy this year. Hopefully we can stick together and do well as a unit down there for a long time now."

Ross didn’t take his decision to leave Claremont at the end of the 2010 season coming off playing in the reserves premiership lightly, but now that he is in his third year with South Fremantle and playing the best football of his career he has no doubt he made the right decision.

"It was definitely one of the hardest decisions I made and I do still have a lot of close mates there at Claremont," Ross said.

"Maybe in the first year I didn’t make the transition as well as I could have and was still hanging around with my Claremont mates, but I have definitely fully bought in now and am really enjoying the boys down here. I have a lot of mates here now and my footy is better for it. I definitely made the right move."

Helping Ross feel even more at home with the Bulldogs has been the arrival of Ben Saunders and Alistair Gillespie over the past two seasons, and he was especially happy to see his close mate Gillespie play such a big role in the Foundation Derby with three goals and 27 possessions.

"I played colts footy with Dizzy so I'm pretty good mates with him and it's always good to have another couple of Claremont boys here," he said.

"We had Woodsy here as well so there were three or four of us, and it's always good to have some familiar faces around when you are trying to settle in at new club.

"It was good for Dizzy. He is a bit of a confidence player so it's good when he gets his hand on the footy and I was rapt to see him play such a good game."

Ross and South Fremantle now are looking to continue its good form from the derby this Saturday against Subiaco at Leederville's Medibank Stadium.

"We just have to make sure we switch on again this week and roll on to take on Subiaco with the same intensity we showed this week in the derby. Subi beat Claremont as well so we have to make sure we are switched on and things might go our way again," Ross said.

"We were in that game last time against Subi most of the day, but then had a few lapses of concentration for 10 or 15 minutes and that cost us. If we stay switched on for four quarters and bring on this sort of performance that we had against East Fremantle, then we will be a good chance of beating them."

By Chris Pike