Under fire Brian Lake back in form

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After Friday night’s tight clash with Collingwood, Western Bulldogs’ Brian Lake has shown that he is back to his best form since 2010.

He picked up 20 disposals and a goal against the ‘Pies in the fourth quarter.

In 2011 Lake endured an injury ravaged season with groin and knee problems. There was even a point at which he was told that he may never be able to play football again, due to the extent of his injuries.

However, in 2012, after a good start in the pre-season, his form has continually steadied. Lake has become increasingly more consistent as the season has gone on.

After a quiet first round match against the West Coast Eagles, where he only picked up three disposals, he has been able to improve his game week by week. Game time has helped, as he has now managed to play five out of the six rounds this season.

The only match he missed was against Melbourne (due to suspension). Lake has been averaging around 16 disposals a game, but he saved his best in coming up against Collingwood last week.

As the season progresses, providing he stays injury free, he will be a key part of the Bulldogs defence, as he was in 2010. Lake provides the ‘Dogs with the run out of fullback, giving them the ability to get the ball out of their defensive zone to find targets in the midfield.

Importantly, he can limit the influence of the opposition’s star forwards, as he demonstrated against Collingwood’s Travis Cloke. He managed to keep Cloke to two goals last week, limiting the ‘Pies ability to find marking targets in the forward 50.

If he keeps up this constant early form he will hit the same heights of his 2010 season, when he was selected for All Australian honours as a fullback.

Those playing AFL Dreamteam in 2012 would be aware of his quality, as he has been one of the best value picks of the season.

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