Lin Jong has been a great addition to the Western Bulldogs since being rocked by the club in the 2011 draft period. Jong, a tall and agile midfielder, is a very damaging player when given time and space. His ability to win the ball in the contested situations and effectively distribute it on the outside is one of his key attributes. His campaign with the Oakliegh Chargers in the TAC CUP in 2011 highlighted his great aerobic capacity, something he uses to his advantage in both the AFL and VFL, most notably on the wing.
Jong made his AFL debut in Round 20 of the 2012 season after being elevated to the senior list. His VFL form was very promising, showing great development and maturity. He played 23 senior AFL games across the 2012-2015 seasons as well as a VFL premiership with Footscray.
Jong hit new highs in his career in the 2016 season, playing 16 AFL games as well as a best-on-ground performance in Footscray’s VFL victory. He was awarded the Norm Goss Medal, accordingly. At the conclusion of the 2016 season during the Bulldogs’ first elimination final against West Coast, Jong broke his shoulder in what was expected to be season-ending. However, Jong recovered and played in the VFL Grand Final only 16 days after. In an incredible display, Jong collected 29 disposals, nine marks, six inside 50s and four clearances. Sadly, Jong did not play in the Bulldogs’ AFL premiership the following week.
Jong used his stellar 2016 form to charge his way into the 2017 season where he showed great hunger to improve and develop. In Round 1, Jong landed 14 tackles against Collingwood and further showed great ability in his 25-disposal effort against West Coast, two months later. After playing some very consistent football, Jong was devastatingly hit with an a tear in his ACL in the club’s loss to Melbourne. After reaching career-high statistics of averaging 18.9 disposals, 4.4 tackles and 2.7 marks per contest over 12 games, Jong’s season sadly came to an end.
Jong will now look to the 2018 season where he will hope to be injury-free. His committed attitude and good character will certainly aid him in his recovery and further progression through his AFL career.