Western Bulldogs

12 October 2016

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — My parents, Jean and Rod Couacaud, took me to the Western Oval in my pram. We watched Footscray from the same spot my grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins had stood. With my family, my brother Bruce and his boys the tradition of standing together and barracking for the mighty Bulldogs has continued. Just two Saturdays ago, following the family road trip to western Sydney, we all got to go to the grand final. Yes — my first! I promised I would never go to one without the Dogs playing. And we won! My heartfelt thanks to those 22 young men wearing the red, white and blue, or as they are now known, our Bullgods; the coaching staff led by the dog-father, Luke Beveridge; stalwarts Peter Gordon, Sue Alberti and before them David Smorgon and Campbell Rose. Their generosity and perseverance, saving and giving so much to our club will never be forgotten. And to our loyal no. 1 ticket-holder, Alan Johnstone, a big thanks. I only wish that Lynne Kosky was alive to see it.

The red, white and blue journey has never been a sad one for me, nothing near tragic. It was just a struggle sometimes. There was always the next game. And there certainly was — 1 October 2016. It is a well-deserved and long-overdue premiership. As the outpouring of support and joy indicated, it was more than just a big cup for the Bulldog faithful. As William McInnes wrote:

They’re the team whose legend kicks the moon up into the sky. A team reminding us we are good enough and we do belong.

When Bevo gave our Bob his medal we all felt touched; tears flowed across the nation. We were witnessing kindness, and we all need more of that in our lives. And of course Bob gave the medal back the next day. That is the sort of bloke he is. So to my Bulldogs, congratulations and thank you for the victory but also for reminding us all of what really matters and that we should be grateful too. This is the year of the Dogs!