Bulldogs’ season bouyed by Boyd and co.

Charles Sutton Award

By Josh Barnstable

The Western Bulldogs Football Club is a funny organization. They play a brand of footy that is breathtaking, exciting, can make any Doggies supporter think that the drought is over. But all the time, they fail. They have made certain people go crazy. The local butcher is owned by a passionate Bulldog supporter, you can’t help but marvel at the two signed and framed Guernsey’s on the back wall, and the framed jumpers of Robert Harvey (circa 2002), Jonathon Brown (circa 2007) and Brendan Fevola (circa 2008 – Hall Of Fame Tribute Match). Everytime I go in the butcher, we have a long chat about the weekend’s games, whenever the Dogs play North Melbourne, we make a small wager of a can of coke and a mars bar for the victor. That has been me on many occasions, but lately, the Dogs have lifted. But this poor man just wants to see his Doggies win a Grand Final. Just a few days ago, I saw him outside of the butcher. I gave him the nod of my head, he nodded back. This meant a lot, it meant we were both anticipating the new season. The Bulldogs can also make men devote their life to quirky stats and anagrams, something that is something to marvel at but is quite weird at the same time. But I want to see the Bulldogs win the Grand Final, I want to see them win it more than I want to see my North Melbourne boys win it. They are my second team. With the arrival of Barry Hall, my money’s on the Scray to deliver the goods after 56 years of waiting.

1. Matthew Boyd

Boyd had his best season, playing 25 games and taking out the Best and Fairest for the Bulldogs. He averaged 28.9 disposals, 4.8 marks and 3.6 tackles a match and kicked a handy 15.5. Boyd is one of the most important players at the Dogs, he can play in defence, he can go forward and kick a goal, he can rack up the possessions as he did for 2009 and he can also pinch-hit in the Ruck if needed. He collected the third most possessions for the league, and third for total handballs with 722 and 394 respectively. His best game came in the Round 17 loss to St Kilda, where Boyd picked up 39 disposals, six marks, and six tackles and kicked goal. Still has at least five seasons in his career.

2. Daniel Cross

The young midfielder had a prolific season, averaging 25.3 disposals, 5.6 marks and 4.4 tackles a match for the year. He played 23 games, but there was some concern over him late in the season where he missed two games. His lowest tally for the year disposal wise was 18 against West Coast in Round 19, while against Port Adelaide, he collected 37 touches (30 handballs), took nine marks and laid five tackles in the demolition of Port Adelaide. Still has a long way to go from here.

3. Dale Morris

Morris had a career-best season for the tri-colours, averaging 12.1 touches, 4.9 marks and 2.4 tackles a game. He played every game, and despite only being 190cm tall, took one some of the big forwards in 2009 and won the battle quite often. He kicked 1.2 for the year, with the goal coming against Essendon in Round 15. His disposal-high for the year was 21 against St Kilda in the Preliminary Final.

4. Brad Johnson

The heart of the Western Bulldogs beat even harder despite his age of 33 years. With 349 games under his belt and not one premiership medallion, he will be at his hungriest in 2010 in what would likely be his last season. Johnson averaged 21.5 touches for the year, as well as seven marks and 2.6 tackles. He booted 37.26, with a best of four on three occasions. He played every game, and his best match would have been against Geelong in Round 9 where he racked up 26 disposals, took 10 marks and kicked four goals, but he famously missed a goal after the siren to win the match in Jason Akermanis’ 300th match.

5. Brian Lake

Lake had a brilliant season down at full-back, playing every game while averaging 18.9 disposals and 8.3 marks. He took the second most marks in the league with 208, and booted an inaccurate 2.6. His best game would have been against West Coast in Round 19, where he picked up 23 touches, took 11 marks and kicked a goal in the loss. His 18 marks against North Melbourne in Round 2 was a season-high.

6. Jarrod Harbrow

Harbrow made a permanent switch to the backline and this paid dividends for the Bulldogs, with Harbrow having his best season since debuting in 2007. He averaged 20.8 possessions, 4.4 marks and 2.1 tackles. He missed two games for the year, and booted 1.4. In Round 20 against Brisbane, he racked up a career-high 31 touches, along with eight marks and four tackles in the win.

7. Adam Cooney

The Brownlow Medallist struggled to follow up with another A-grade season, but he did get better as the season went on. The ranga superstar played 23 out of a possible 25 games, averaged 26.8 disposals and kicked 14.15. His game against Geelong in Round 21 was a standout; he picked up 29 possessions, took three marks and kicked two goals in the close win. Another Brownlow Medal is not beyond him.

8. Shaun Higgins

Formed a close partnership with fellow goalsneak Josh Hill and Higgins is becoming one of the most important players in the Bulldog line-up. He missed five games, but still averaged 21.1 touches, 5.2 marks, 2.6 tackles and kicked 32.18. He also set up 20 goals for the year, ranked 16th in the league. His role in the Semi Final against Brisbane was his best game for the year, picking up 29 disposals, a career high, taking eight marks and booting two goals.

9. Ryan Hargrave

Hargrave is the most versatile player in the Bulldog line-up, as well as one of the most important. He played 23 matches, averaged 24.2 disposals, 7.1 marks and kicked 1.3 for the year. His best game came in Round 15 against Collingwood where he picked up 35 touches, a career-high, and took 11 marks in the one-point loss.

10. Jason Akermanis

Aker started the season in terrific form, and despite saying that 2009 would be his last year in AFL, has declared he will go on in 2010 to help provide the Scray a premiership. He will be a useful part of the puzzle, as he was this year. He played 24 games, averaged 19.6 touches, 5.2 marks and 3.6 tackles. He kicked 43.35, with a best of five against Fremantle in Round 18. He assisted in 23 goals, ranked 15th. His best game was his 300th against Geelong in Round 9, where he picked up 25 possessions, took nine marks and booted four goals but the Doggies couldn’t take the chocolates after fellow veteran Johnson missed after the siren. Will be interesting to see his final year.

When you compare the top 10 best and fairest players from each club, you would have to say the Bulldogs have the most versatile group. With the arrival of Barry Hall, I’m predicting a Coleman Medal for big Bazza. If the Doggies continue to play fast, free-flowing football, Hall will have the ball speared down his throat by the likes of Ryan Griffen, Harbrow, Cross, Cooney, Boyd and the most tantalizing is Lindsay Gilbee. I’ll be cheering for the Red, White and Blue next year, but once they come up against North, all deals are off.

Comments

  1. ohhh come on steve!! DO SOMETHING!!
    hair is very important its one of the first things we notice in a guy!!!
    what are u wearing?

  2. Steve Healy says:

    jeans and a t shirt. What do girls look for in a hairstyle Danni?

  3. it has to look stylish but natural, not too much gel like youve come outta the shower. it should be kinda light and fluffy, soft, nothing to extreme but it should be completely flat.

    what colour are your eyes and what colour is the t-shirt?

  4. Go with my hairstyle: Combed sideways at the fringe and spiked up at the back, plus buy some aviators

  5. Steve Healy says:

    Youve got curly hair Josh so I can’t copy your hairstyle.

    My eyes are blue, dunno what t shirt I’m wearing. Do eyes match well with different different T shirts?

  6. No no Steve i have curly hair when i wake up, but once i wack some wax into it, i can do whatever i want with it lol.

  7. well that means you need to make up eyes ‘pop’ lol luck im a Chick or id sound so gay right now!
    light/bright blues and greens are good t-shirt colours.

  8. Steve Healy says:

    Well, I had a red t shirt and a white t shirt in mind.

  9. mmmm well if the white shirt is like a tightfit- GOD I LOVE THOSE SHIRTS!!
    then i would go for the white one.
    nothing worse than guys who wear baggy t-shirts!!

  10. Steve Healy says:

    Yeah but I’m skinny so it’s hard for me to have a tight fit t-shirt

  11. nawwww lol thats cos ur still a kid!
    when u hit ur manlyness you arms and chest will buff up and fill ur t-shirt.
    is the white one that baggy though?

  12. Go to the Lexus Centre and steal Heath Shaw’s jumper!

  13. Steve Healy says:

    Josh, why ON EARTH WOULD I WEAR A COLLINGWOOD JUMPER!!

    Actually Danni, I think it’ll take me till im about 40 to bulk up. I’m naturally skinny, I eat heaps and never gain any weight. All my T shirts are normal. Not tight, not baggy

  14. STEVE!!
    i think ud look great in a Collingwood jumper!!

    ahhh you like my cousin, hes 18 and still stick thin eventhough he eats like crazy.
    i guess when ur older you could try and gain muscle then.
    id really push u to wear a blue one, but its up to u in the end.

  15. All my shirts are either white or black lol bad choice of colours

  16. no its not! lol
    josh what colour are your eyes?
    mine are brown, not dark, not light juts brown, boring brown!! most of my wardrobe is black and navy, electric blues and purples nothing else. i love wearing black.

  17. My eye colour was blue but its now a bit of blue and green. I’ve been told i have really nice eyes

  18. omg both of you have nice eyes!! i hate u both!!
    seriously ive ALWAYS wanted hazel eyes!! my dads are hazel wif a bit of green and my mums are a darker brown than mine so i kina got the mix. still boring brown though!

  19. Hmmm i dont know what i’ve got out of my parents lol

  20. lol!
    i miss steve! :(
    ohh godhelp him if he tries a lame pickup line…i think we wont see him again.

  21. Well he’s gonna text me if he gets any pickups

    Status – listening to music i just downloaded. Evacuate the Dancefloor and Tick Tock by Ke$ha

  22. Just that minute got a text from his saying he’s had no luck yet

  23. lmaoo oh god!
    im worried steve is a tad confident..and im sure he will say something that will cause him death from humilation!!!lmaoo
    Melbourne supporters! :P

  24. Lol

    “Soo, are you as hot as Liam Jurrah?”

    haha

  25. lmaoo exactly!!
    unless theres a girl version of jurrah…
    ohh gosh! LMAOO
    all he has to do is kick a footy and wait for a girl to take a specky LMAOO.
    It wil end up being jurrahs sister.

  26. Lol shall i tell Steve that we’re taking the piss out of him on here?? lol

  27. …yep, hell read it anyway!
    LMAOO
    TELL HIM I MISS HIM!
    lol

  28. He’s making progress!!!!!!!

  29. LMAOO!! oh good!!! :)
    wonder if he found a Dee.

  30. Damian Watson says:

    What sort of approach is Steve using?

  31. He just sent me a message, 2 in fact, that “its gettin beta”

  32. THE- “HELLO, im looking for Jurruh” approach! LMAOO

    HEY DAMOOOOOOOO!! :)

  33. Damian Watson says:

    By the way Wayne Carey whacked or headbutted Darren Gasper in that match against Richmond, he was suspended for a couple of weeks and as it turned out that was his last home and away game for North Melbourne.

  34. LMAOO well DUH!!
    the guys a blond with blue eyes! ofcorse its gonna get better, hes a sweetie!
    :)

  35. Have you even seen his picture before Danni? lol

    Oh ok, just got a text from my Tiger mate.

    “Goose de-listed perfect for use to fill in young Gibsons spot”

    Couldnt agree more!

  36. Damian Watson says:

    Hi Danni!

    How’s Jack? lol

  37. yer didnt he say he was on google images once?

    lmaoo Jack is jst DANDYYYYYYYYYYY!!! :)

  38. Damian Watson says:

    Yeah I heard about that and troubled Cats hard nut David Johnson announced his retirement.

    Did any of you hear about this new World XVIII team that will compete in the U/16 Championships?

  39. Nope…
    any word of toovey being dropped??

  40. Yeah i did, i didnt really understand much of it but the AFL are looking for their next international star.

    Damo, me and Steve were wondering, are you a Herald Sun man or an Age man?

  41. Michael Allan says:

    Hey guys,

    I’ll try to stay on longer than one comment tonight lol
    I wish Steve the best of luck and I reckon he’s got the right moves to walk away with the goods.
    My eyes are blue and it gets darker towards the outside.

  42. what!! all you guys suck, with ur pretty coloured eyes!!

    status- jealous!! LOL

  43. Michael Allan says:

    Lol well, red heads don’t really have any other eye colour.

  44. Mikey, hav u thought of dying ur hair?

  45. Damian Watson says:

    Hmm, don’t tell Steve but I’m more of a Herald Sun man, I used to read the Age fairly often with Caroline Wilson and your favourite Wallsy.
    But in terms of news I have to say that the Herald Sun come out with the chocolates.

    By the way I have Hazel coloured eyes.

  46. Michael Allan says:

    I dide it choclate brown afew times with blonde tips. After a couple of times I was sick of havinmg the foils in my hair so I’ve decided to just battle it out as red head.

  47. lol Mikey! :P

    omg Damo, can you get any better?
    not only are you a muffin but u have hazel eyes!! :)

    hope steve didnt scare off any girls with his dancemoves! LMAO

  48. Try using a tipping cap! Never sworn so much in my life.

    Damo, that’s great. That makes the Herald Sun score 3 and the Age 2. He was saying the Age was better but we all know the Herald has more to report on.

    I shall text Steve now and see how it’s going

  49. Funny how the Age has my least two favourite people in football, Caroline Wilson and Wallsy

  50. Damo what do you think of the great Jon Ralph???

  51. Michael Allan says:

    Danni, I like your “good hair” description.

    I reckon I fit the bill. lol
    Altrhough one of the guys at my school said I hbad an “old man’s” cut. I didn’t like being told that.

  52. Damian Watson says:

    Jon Ralph,hmm well I wouldn’t call him the best journalist some of his opinions just don’t make sense, but I do agree with his view of Footy on TV.

    Every time the Fifth Quarter or ESPN cross to him he bags the crap out of Channel 7.lol

  53. lol why tankyou Mickey lol
    Yes the last thing a girl want when she runs her fingers through a guys hair is wet, sticky, gelly fingers!!

    lol again i agree with you Damo!
    Even to me Ralphy is not the BEST, taht would be Sam Lane BUT for me hes the best Male sports jurno. ive never noticed his bagging of ch 7 LOL

  54. Michael Allan says:

    Hey Danni does everyone at your school hug when saying hello and goodbye to freinds? All the girls do it at mine.

  55. lmaoo thats a random questions but yes we do. hellos, goodbyes, ive failed my test, i got full marks, where have u been ive missed you, omg i just saw the hottest guy, omg i hate my life, my hair looks fudged…

    THESE ARE ALL HUGGING MOMENTS AT MY SKOOL.

  56. Damian Watson says:

    I remember when Channel 7 refused to show that Hawthorn v Geelong game last year he voiced his displeasure.

    He did likewise this year with that Bris v Coll game and he continually goes on about the amount of ads and replays Ch7 show.

    I agree with him on all of those fronts.

    Sam Lane is a good writer, she’s not too bad on TV with her Q&A on Before the Game but I like to think of her as a writer.

  57. Michael Allan says:

    Rofl, that’s very accurate.

    Do you expect a hug from us at the launch apon greeting?

    If you do I’ll probobly hug a random thinking it’s you.

    That’ll be awkward.

  58. LOL well maybe when i become a future sam lane with my own differences i can get your approval Damo. :)

    ummmmmmmmm lmaoo
    ah wouldnt a hug be kinda awkward? maybe we should stick to the handshake lol!
    although it would be funny if you went around hugging every female b/c u thought it was me. LOL

  59. Mikey dont u ger any hugging action from the girls at school surly you have freinds that are girls who hug you on greeting.

  60. Michael Allan says:

    Lol yeah that’s what I thought.

    And by the sounds of it I wouldn’t want to get too close to you because you’ll eat me.

    Haha well I guess I am going to Brendan Fevola!

  61. lol why would i eat you?
    i dont bite!
    unlike Twingly my dress is sensible enough to be tight with straps which means it cannot be pulled away even be Fev.

  62. Lol Mikey you gonna hug Gigs, Daff and John as well? lol

  63. The party is over, Steve made a lot of friends, but nothing too serious

  64. Michael Allan says:

    Because you’ve just had your exams so you’ll be feeling pekish.
    Haha, who knows what Fev will do Josh.

  65. lol ive be so drained by that time ive got 3 exams on the day of the launch!!

    lol naww steve!! :P

  66. omg u guys should see my house t-shirt for 2mro! all us year 11s decorated them . mine says-

    CLASS OF
    (then the word twenty runs vertically)
    10
    DANNI.
    looks good for a last minute job!

  67. Why dont you ask if you can do your exams the next day or something?

  68. lol thats not how it works Josh.
    i cant jst move the timetable for me to go to the launch happy! LOL
    its annoying though cos on friday, the day after the launch i finish my medai exam at 12:40 where as on the day of the launch i finish at 3:20.

  69. Steve Healy says:

    Hello everyone. Thank you Josh for passing my messages on.

    Hahah it was so funny I lied on the floor and everyone was saying: What the hell!

  70. …steve….

    thats a tad…

    suggestive……..

    LMFAOOOO

  71. Steve Healy says:

    How’s it suggestive? lol I just was lying down on the ground, and everyone was giving me wierd looks.

    Thanks for calling me a sweetie Danni, but no girls called me that tonight

  72. LOL, trust me its suggestive!! LMAOO
    thats an interesting way to get attention, maybe ill try it at the launch!! LMAO

    nawwwww LMAOO so tell me did u find a Dee?

  73. Steve my facebook is screwin up so yeah sorry if its bein weird lol

  74. Haha lol i’ll “try” not to trip over you Danni

  75. omg! JOSH!!
    I have a boyfriend!!!

  76. Steve Healy says:

    Lol it was too loud to talk about footy.

  77. its never to loud to talk about footy!
    i would talk to my ball dancing partner about footy while we were dancing and learning dances!

  78. No no i meant if your going to lie down at the launch im gonna try not to trip over you lol.

    Its an hour and 15 minutes till Happy Fixture Day!

  79. sureeeee!! what i see is that in you tipping over me you wont fly very far so i wonder where ull end up??? :P
    what should i do with you two?
    lol

  80. Steve Healy says:

    Danni that sounds suggestive as well.

    Fixture day= better than Christmas, Birthday, easter and other festivals put together!

  81. Danni your just sick, get off this website now! Go on! lol

    Nah i wouldnt go that far Steve but im pretty damn excited at the moment

  82. lol now steve understands!
    im only kidding! :P

    what!! no way fixture day doesnt have misteltoe!!!

  83. i think steve will now re-think laying down on the floor in any future parties.
    atleast his shirt wasnt open and he wasnt puking from drinking too much!

  84. Steve Healy says:

    Whats wrong with being on floor? Is there any problem? no one got hurt lol.

  85. after what i jst said i thought u understood the suggestivemess!!
    what if one of the girls tripped on uor foot!!???

  86. Lol come to think of it my social at school doesnt serve any drinks apart from water. No wonder we have to smuggle drinks in

  87. Steve Healy says:

    Nah, there was a gap, so I decided to have a nap but everyone woke me up lol.

  88. Steve Healy says:

    We just had cans of coke and solo and stuff

  89. Steve, gonna have to cut short our chat on FB, it aint working for me lol sorry. And yes our floors are in the process of being broken by those things

  90. Steve Healy says:

    oh ok thats cool. Lol. Lets call one of those things a GMB for short

  91. lol
    night fellas!
    :)

  92. Steve Healy says:

    cya Danni.

    I don’t think i’ll be able to get to sleep tonight

  93. Night Danni.

    I think i’ll be able to, coz im falling asleep right now lol. Might have to leave ya Stevey.

    Night, happy fixture day for tomorrow!!!! I’ll try and text ya around lunch time

  94. Steve Healy says:

    k. cya Josh

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