Bulldogs strengthened with Hopaote

Will Hopoate has been a tremendous addition to the Bulldogs squad this season and his performance has been commendable every time he’s stepped on to the field.

After a month off first grade football, Will’s teammates and the Bulldogs community were glad to see him return.

“I had a game in reserve grade a couple of weeks ago so that helped,” he said.

Despite the loss, Will still had a huge impact on the game, which he believes the downtime had a great deal to do with,

“After a month off playing in the NRL, I was able to freshen up a bit. I did a lot of conditioning work here with Lobby (Trainer Tony Grimaldi), it definitely wasn’t all rest”

Coach Des Hasler’s decision to play Will in the fullback position has proven to be a success with the 24-year-old playing some of his best football of his career.

“I enjoy it there, I played most of my junior years there and it’s not a new position to me. I’m enjoying the challenges and opportunities that present themselves from playing at the back.”

In terms of performance, the Manly Cove junior believes he is in such great form because the club has allowed him to balance football with his faith.

“If you fix a player and his drama off the field, he will perform well on the field. My faith is a big part of who I am and for the Dogs to do what they have, I think it has played a big part in how I’ve gone this season,” he said.

Will is considered to be a very valuable player by his teammates, which has been made clear with him receiving the player’s player award four times already this season, something Will is proud to accept.

“Personally I think it’s the highest honour to be recognised by your own teammates, the boys you’re doing battle with every week, to come away with that award, I’m very humbled by it.”

Looking ahead, Will still thinks there are some elements of his game that he can work on but believes becoming a Bulldog has helped him develop as a player.

“I’ve always got things to improve on here and there, but I think change was a good thing for me.  I’m enjoying my time under Des and being here at the Bulldogs.”

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