Robert Murphy of the Western Bulldogs.
Robert Murphy of the Western Bulldogs. TRACEY NEARMY

Coach faces 'difficult conversation' with flag winners

AS many as four Western Bulldogs premiership players will be left out of the club's season-opening clash with Collingwood on Friday night.

Coach Luke Beveridge said Travis Cloke would be among a potential quartet of fresh faces to take on the Pies.

Returning captain Robert Murphy, Matt Suckling and Stewart Crameri are also poised to play.

Beveridge said Cloke, playing his old side in his debut appearance as a Bulldog, had been a bit jittery.

"I'd imagine he's pretty nervous. I've been there a couple of times myself where you come up against your old team, but he's determined to do well," Beveridge said.

"I'm sure the (Collingwood) players and supporters still have a huge soft spot for Clokey. He's a decorated player ... and I'm sure they all remember that ... but I'm sure they'll definitely let him know he's playing for the opposition."

Forward Tory Dickson will play VFL to build fitness while Jordan Roughead is still a fair way off resuming from a pre-season knee injury.

Josh Dunkley's spot is also uncertain.

"All coaches have a sense of loyalty and a pretty vivid memory of the recent past," Beveridge said.

"There's going to be one or two players miss out who played in last year's premiership side so that's a difficult conversation to have."