Questions have been asked over Josh Dunkley’s exit from the Western Bulldogs despite the now-Brisbane midfielder saying he has “no problems at all with the club”.
Port Adelaide champion Kane Cornes questioned Dunkley’s claim after a clip from an interview with the Lions’ website surfaced on social media.
“It’s been a great pre-season so far. The boys have come back really fit and are running really well,” Dunkley said.
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“Which has been a bit of a change-up for me too because we didn’t really run a lot at the Dogs – as much as we do here.”
Cornes questioned whether a “lack of fitness” was behind the Bulldogs’ season-ending fade-outs in the last two finals campaigns – against Melbourne in the 2021 Grand Final, and against Fremantle in the 2022 elimination final.
He also pointed out Dunkley stated in that interview the Lions have “even better midfielders” than the Bulldogs.
Dunkley took to Twitter on Wednesday night, replying to an angry Bulldogs fan and claiming he had been “taken way out of context”.
“I genuinely have no problems at all with the club,” Dunkley said.
“However if that’s how you want to try and rev up round 3 (when the Lions play the Bulldogs), then go ahead. All I’m looking forward to, is playing against my old team mates.”
Cornes questioned whether Dunkley was hiding the truth.
“I don’t fully believe him when he says he has no issues with his former club. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have tried so desperately to leave twice,” he said on SEN’s Sportsday.
“His old coach Luke Beveridge said Dunkley left only for money.
“I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate, either.”
Dunkley was traded to the Lions on the final day of the trade period, along with a future third-round pick and future fourth-round pick, in exchange for Pick 21, a future first rounder, a future second rounder and a future fourth rounder.
His manager Liam Pickering took a swipe at the Bulldogs after the deal was completed, telling Trade Radio: “I think it could have been done first thing this morning to be honest.
“Haggling over a pick that’s in the future, a fourth-round pick that is probably never going to get used anyway, but anyway that’s what we do.”
Dunkley had previously asked for a trade to Essendon, with Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge believing money was the reason for the exit requests.
“He would’ve been offered a better deal, but we still offered him a lucrative contract… Probably the Essendon approach highlighted to him how much he could’ve possibly earned at another club, and that would’ve been part of it,” Beveridge told the Herald Sun late last year.
“I think it’s a combination of maximising your opportunity, and leveraging good form, and we haven’t been able to satisfy him as far as his contractual demands go.”
Story Credit: foxsports.com.au