Two premiership stars could return for the undefeated Western Bulldogs on Good Friday

Former Western Bulldogs captain Easton Wood is set to return for Friday’s clash with North Melbourne and Jason Johannisen will also “definitely play” somewhere.

Coach Luke Beveridge declared his club wouldn’t, like some others, back up the same medical sub week to week, meaning 2016 Norm Smith medallist Johannisen, who went unused last week, will get a game.

But he’s no certainty to make the AFL team, with Beveridge on Wednesday reeling off a long list of players available for his undefeated side, which he said was becoming “more capable” of being the powerhouse he always wanted.

“It is only Round 2, which we need to remind ourselves of,” he said.

“We play to a system and you are asking our players to come up to a certain level of proficiency. Sometimes you are more capable than others. Maybe we are moving to a time where we are more capable.

“We definitely feel like we have beaten two very good opponents (West Coast and Collingwood). Now it remains to be seen whether we can maintain the rage.”

Wood got through a VFL hitout last week and looms as an inclusion to bolster a youthful backline Beveridge said was “finding its way”.

“We wanted Easton to play another VFL game last week – with 30-minute quarters and the 75 interchanges these days, if players are coming off soft tissue and there’s a little bit of doubt, we’ll make sure we’re really confident with them going in,” Bereidge said.

“That might mean spending another game at state league level, which Easton went and did and he played really well.

“His name’s definitely on the table and it’s more than likely it will probably go on the board as well.

“We’re fortunate enough to have won games, but there’s competition for spots as well, and the complexion of our team will continue to evolve.”

Woody + JJ are in the selection frame to return for Good Friday.

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Johannisen has had a mixed pre-season, and despite not playing last week, Beveridge said the medical sub was a guide as to who was close to being selected, and that meant “JJ” was close.

“I’ve noticed a couple of teams have doubled up on their sub from week to week, we won’t be inclined to do that,” he said.

“If you’re the 23rd man – there’s probably a particular type that suits, and it suits the team from a versatility point of view.

“But it’s also probably a pecking order and a selection order as well. Last week because we didn’t make any changes, Westy was the sub and played state league (the following week).

“This week if we make changes, JJ’s a chance to come in.

“He’ll definitely play a full game, at AFL level or VFL level – he won’t be the sub again.”

Beveridge also maintained his criticism of the new density rules in the VFL and said it was the players, not the coaches, leading the charge for change.

“You speak to our players coming off last week, especially the two who have to go to the goalsquare (at boundary throw-ins). Especially the key forwards and the guys who have to run 70m to get back there, they are saying, ‘When is this going to stop?’” he said.

“If we go to just three pairs inside the 50m arc, we’ll see how that goes.”

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