Alex Keath of the Bulldogs marks the ball during an AFL Western Bulldogs training session at Whitten Oval in Melbourne, Friday, June 5, 2020. (AAP Image/Michael Dodge) NO ARCHIVING
Alex Keath of the Bulldogs marks the ball during an AFL Western Bulldogs training session at Whitten Oval in Melbourne, Friday, June 5, 2020. (AAP Image/Michael Dodge) NO ARCHIVING

Footy pre-season? It’s just not cricket

When the sun is out over summer, Alex Keath misses cricket.

Three years on from his AFL debut, the new Western Bulldogs defender admits the pull from his other sporting passion remains strong during the warmer months when footy pre-season is in full swing.

But the 28-year-old former Victorian and Melbourne Stars all-rounder said he did not regret the decision he made to eventually follow the AFL path.

"I do (miss cricket) a bit, particularly in the summer when we're doing plenty of training out on the track and plenty of running sessions and things," Keath said.

"It's nice to watch the odd game. Now that I'm back in Melbourne I played at Melbourne Cricket Club for a long time and I've still got some friends playing there, so it's good to get down and have a look at the games.

 

Alex Keath was part of a star-studded Melbourne Stars squad in the BBL.
Alex Keath was part of a star-studded Melbourne Stars squad in the BBL.

 

 

Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Watch every match of every round Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

 

 

"I don't have any regrets about coming back to footy at all. I think the writing was on the wall cricket-wise, I had given it a good crack. It was time to do something different."

After four years - and 30 games - while on the Adelaide Crows' list, it was time to do something different on the footy front, too.

Alex Keath the cricket lets rip for Melbourne.
Alex Keath the cricket lets rip for Melbourne.

The Shepparton product could see the "younger" direction the Crows wanted to take and was eager for a "fresh start at a new club".

He had been courted by both St Kilda and the Bulldogs, but was sold on the defensive role Bulldogs could offer him with a deal finalised in the last half-hour of the 2019 trade period.

"It was just a really good opportunity for me, it worked well for all parties," Keath said.

"The Crows were looking to get a bit younger and I was fortunate that the Bulldogs saw a position for me where I might be able to add something to their group.

"I think I will probably get a bit more responsibility at the Dogs, so that's exciting to me.

"It was a difficult decision, but I am really happy now that I'm here."

Keath arrived at the Kennel in rehab mode after off-season ankle surgery, which was recommended by the Bulldogs rather than the non-surgical recovery the Crows had planned, after medicals with the backman.

Alex Keath gets a handball away for Western Bulldogs during the Marsh Series.
Alex Keath gets a handball away for Western Bulldogs during the Marsh Series.

He said the surgery had given him "more certainty around recovery" to put him in the best position to be ready for Round 1 this year.

Keath suited up in the opening round against Collingwood, but hasn't been the greatest on-field welcome for the former Crow with the Bulldogs thumped in the opening two rounds.

But he is settling into his new role and confident the wheel will turn.

"I've had a couple of matches now that haven't gone to plan, but I'm sure that we will be able to turn things around and give our supporters some more pleasing results," Keath said.

"I want to settle into that backline and build some really good chemistry so we can be rock solid down there."

 

 

Alex Keath says he still has plenty of growth to come with the Bulldogs.
Alex Keath says he still has plenty of growth to come with the Bulldogs.

Keath enjoyed his best season last year, playing 18 games for the Crows, but he is confident he still has plenty of growth in his game.

"I'm learning new things and I guess the best thing about going to a new team is the challenges that it presents," Keath said.

"There is parts of my game that my eyes have been opened to in terms of looking to improve and get better and areas that I haven't focused on in the past.

"I learned some great things at Adelaide and built a really great foundation with my game. I'm really enjoying those new challenges and new ideas from the coaches that I have got at the Dogs and trying to build on that foundation."

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Footy pre-season? It's just not cricket

The Herald Sun’s cartoon when Alex Keath chose cricket over a deal with Gold Coast.
The Herald Sun’s cartoon when Alex Keath chose cricket over a deal with Gold Coast.

Voters quick out of blocks with record early turnout

Premium Content Voters quick out of blocks with record early turnout

Historic surge in early voting could kill off the democracy sausage

Noosa Magistrates Court appearances today

Premium Content Noosa Magistrates Court appearances today

Here is a list of matters listed at Noosa Magistrates Court

Millions in COVID fines, penalties unpaid

Premium Content Millions in COVID fines, penalties unpaid

Nine out of 10 people issued with COVID penalty have not paid