Refreshed Lloyd ready to deliver for Dogs

Former Tiger Sam Lloyd will make a fresh start with the Western Bulldogs.
Former Tiger Sam Lloyd will make a fresh start with the Western Bulldogs.

In his mind, a revitalised Sam Lloyd has already made the transition from fringe player to AFL regular following his off-season switch from Richmond to the Western Bulldogs.

After 57 games in five seasons with the Tigers, Lloyd knew it was time for a fresh start.

The 29-year-old has enjoyed a strong pre-season and figures to feature regularly in a young Bulldogs forward line.

He's also enjoying an unexpected positive from the move that every Melbourne commuter can appreciate.

"I thought the drive from my place would be a bit longer but it's actually a bit shorter and I don't have to tackle Punt Road," Lloyd said with a broad grin.

"But really, I'm loving it here. I had an uninterrupted pre-season, I haven't missed a beat, so I've done everything I needed to ... I'm ready to go."

Despite winning the medal for best-on-ground in the VFL grand final, Lloyd was unable to break into the AFL grand final side that defeated Adelaide a week later.

Lloyd was an emergency for the 2017 grand final and was named on the emergency list on nine occasions last year, managing to break into the AFL side for just seven games.

"Every year I just try to focus on my footy, but the frustration of being in and out of the team ... it took a bit of a toll mentally," he said.

"The main positive that I took out of last year was that the coaches were telling me I was playing good football it was just a matter of selection in a very good side.

"I never doubted my football ability. I felt I could be useful somewhere else but since I've come here I've really grown in confidence too.

"I'll be back to playing more as a permanent forward, which I think will help me play my best football at the ripe old age of 29.

"I don't think I need to prove anyone wrong ... I just want to play good senior footy."

As fate would have it, the last time Lloyd was named as an emergency at Richmond helped him come to the conclusion he could revive his career at Whitten Oval.

"I watched them from the stands as an emergency in round 23 last year and I just saw about how good they can be," he said.

"There are still a lot of premiership players here ... there's a lot of upside.

"Hopefully I can hang around long enough to help have some success but it could be just around the corner too."

Australian Associated Press