Wodonga will look to measure its improvement in Saturday’s away game against Wodonga Raiders.
The Bulldogs were belted by 99 points in round four.
“We were pretty disappointed with our performance on Anzac Day,” Wodonga coach Zac Fulford said.
“I thought we were pretty poor defensively and our ball use wasn’t up to scratch.
“We’ve worked really hard on both of those aspects and we think that we’ve improved.
“Ultimately we’ve got to be able to do it against a top three side, so we’ll measure the growth in our season against Raiders after what we dished up on Anzac Day.”
The Bulldogs suffered the league’s biggest exodus over summer, losing 23 players from the senior list.
Not surprisingly, the club’s had the greatest number of debutants with Rhys Ritchie the 19th player.
“He’ll probably play across half-forward or up on the wing,” Fulford said.
“His foot skills are pretty good and he has the ability to get forward and kick a couple of goals, so we’re hoping he can hit the scoreboard for us.
“It certainly wasn’t a plan at the start of the year to debut as many as we can, it was more about exposing some of our younger guys to senior footy and whet their appetite for the next 12 to 18 months.
“Those opportunities have arisen and they’ve been good enough to put their hand up and get a senior game.”
The Bulldogs have made five changes, including former interleague player Brett Doswell and crafty goalsneak Hamish Hallahan.
Raiders have also brought in four players, including defender Alex Daly and the physical Daniel Bond.
Jordan Rouse is out through suspension, while Shane Munro injured his ankle against the Roos.
Raiders have simply too much to play for to fall at home.
The club is involved in a three-way battle for the top three, along with Wangaratta and Yarrawonga.
Wangaratta faces a tricky test on the road against Yarrawonga.
Raiders bounced back against the Roos with a 129-point demolition, prior to the bye.
Last year’s elimination finalists had dropped successive games to Albury and Wangaratta by 22 and 12 points respectively.
Raiders face only two top five outfits in the final six weeks, so a win over Wodonga will keep the pressure on the Pies and Pigeons around them.
Wangaratta has the advantage though of only one top five outfit in the run home, while the Pigeons face three.