Josh Dunkley
Dunkley training in August 2018.
Personal information
Full name Josh Dunkley
Date of birth (1997-01-09) 9 January 1997 (age 25)
Place of birth Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Original team(s) Gippsland Power (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 25, 2015 national draft
Height 191 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 91 kg (201 lb)
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current club Western Bulldogs
Number 5
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2016– Western Bulldogs 92 (47)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of Preliminary Final 2021.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Josh Dunkley (born 9 January 1997) is an Australian rules footballer who plays for the Western Bulldogs in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Early life

Dunkley was born in Sydney, the second of three children to Sydney footballer Andrew and his wife Lisa.[1] After Andrew retired from AFL football in 2002, the family returned south to country Victoria and lived on a farm near Yarram in the Gippsland region.[1] During his time playing for Gippsland Power, Dunkley developed into a promising leader (captaining the team in his final year), and his strong overhead marking skills, along with his ability to win the contested ball, had many comparing him to Sydney star Luke Parker.[2] He also spent time with Sydney's youth academy and played six games for Richmond's VFL team in 2015.[2] In the lead-up to the 2015 AFL draft, Dunkley attracted keen interest from a number of clubs, especially his father's former club Sydney, but when the Western Bulldogs bid for Dunkley with the 25th selection,[3] Sydney chose not to match the bid. After losing players like Nick Malceski and Adam Goodes, the club were looking for players with strong kicking skills and although Dunkley was under serious consideration, it was felt that his kicking skills needed improvement. He thus became the first player under the new father–son drafting rules to have a draft bid placed on him which was not matched by his father's former club.[4]

He graduated from Gippsland Grammar School in 2014 and spent 2015 working at the school as a teachers assistant prior to being drafted[5]

AFL career

Dunkley made his AFL debut in round 1, 2016 against Fremantle. He also scored his first AFL goal in that match.[6] After his performance against North Melbourne in round 20 where he recorded nineteen disposals, four tackles, three clearances, and three inside-50s, he was the round nomination for the Rising Star.[7] Dunkley would then go on to play a key role in the club's amazing finals campaign, showing composure beyond his years on the biggest stage. He kicked two goals in the 47-point upset of West Coast in the elimination final in Perth. Then the following week against Hawthorn in the semi-final, Dunkley was rated among the Bulldogs' best players, kicking a crucial goal in the second quarter as well as gathering 23 possessions in a memorable 23-point win. In the heart-stopping preliminary final win against Greater Western Sydney, Dunkley again recorded over 20 possessions, and in the grand final against his father's side, he gathered 15 disposals and seven tackles. At 19, he was the youngest player in the premiership side.[8]

Statistics

Statistics are correct to the end of the 2021 season [9]
Legend
 G  Goals  K  Kicks  D  Disposals  T  Tackles
 B  Behinds  H  Handballs  M  Marks
Season Team No. Games Totals Averages (per game)
G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
2016# Western Bulldogs 20 17 9 12 152 136 288 76 98 0.5 0.7 8.9 8.0 16.9 4.5 5.8
2017 Western Bulldogs 20 7 5 7 47 39 86 25 29 0.7 1.0 6.7 5.7 12.3 3.6 4.1
2018 Western Bulldogs 5 19 11 15 193 223 416 93 113 0.6 0.8 10.2 11.7 21.9 4.9 6.0
2019 Western Bulldogs 5 23 11 8 307 344 651 95 141 0.8 0.5 13.4 15.0 28.3 4.1 6.1
2020[a] Western Bulldogs 5 12 6 5 85 134 219 28 71 0.5 0.4 7.0 11.2 18.3 2.3 5.9
2021 Western Bulldogs 5 15 5 8 129 220 349 56 78 0.3 0.5 8.6 14.7 23.3 3.7 5.2
Career 93 47 55 913 1096 2009 373 530 0.5 0.6 9.8 11.8 21.6 4.0 5.7

Notes

  1. ^ The 2020 season was played with 17 home-and-away matches per team (down from 22) and 16-minute quarters with time on (down from 20-minute quarters with time on) due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Honours and achievements

References

  1. ^ a b Walsh, Courtney (27 September 2016). "AFL grand final 2016: Josh Dunkley born to kick on grand final day". The Australian.
  2. ^ a b Landsberger, Sam (18 November 2015). "Josh Dunkley must decide whether to nominate as father-son for Sydney". Herald Sun.
  3. ^ "Pick 25 - Josh Dunkley". westernbulldogs.com.au. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  4. ^ Quayle, Emma (26 November 2015). "The Josh Dunkley dilemma: why Sydney opted out". The Age.
  5. ^ "The Swans, or the draft? Josh Dunkley has time to make up his mind".
  6. ^ "Josh Dunkley". westernbulldogs.com.au. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  7. ^ Guthrie, Ben (8 August 2016). "Son of a gun's 'fairytale' continues with Rising Star". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  8. ^ Schlink, Leo (2 October 2016). "Western Bulldog Josh Dunkley could have easily been playing for Sydney in the AFL Grand Final". Herald Sun.
  9. ^ "Josh Dunkley". AFL Tables. Retrieved 1 March 2021.