Feature: A way to go: despondency and expectation in the life of a Freo supporter

Malcolm Allbrook

The life of a Fremantle Dockers supporter, one of perpetual disappointment, of occasional bursts of joy mingled with frustration, gloom, pitying looks and occasional patronizing reassurances from teams confident of their sustained superiority. The team of the colour purple with all its contradictory implications, of the symbolic anchor intended to signify our maritime working class origins, but instead redolent of being held fast, unable to move. Of the funereal and depressing club song ‘Freo, way to go’, an anthem so lyrically moronic and unmelodious that, rather than signifying the gusto of victory it implies failure and unfulfilled potential on the rare occasions it is heard. The club whose annual charity event has co-opted the term ‘purple haze’ and encourages supporters to hold ‘purple haze parties’, oblivious to connotations of psychotropic drug use. Rivaling Richmond and Melbourne as perhaps the least feared team in the AFL, the subject of jokes, the ‘poor man’s Essendon’ and the bookie’s enemy, and occasionally hatred earned by on-field incidents such as Dean Solomon’s disgraceful hit on Cameron Ling the season before last. A team of almost bipolar temperament, capable of brilliance and creativity tempered with the moribund, a capacity to find new and innovative ways to lose, an inability to grasp opportunities, a bottomless reservoir of ways to dismay its endlessly forgiving body of supporters. Over fifteen seasons, Fremantle has finished 12th or lower ten times, but only once has it scored the coveted wooden spoon. It boasts a winning record of 39% and, although it has won over half its games in Perth, can confidently be expected to lose away. It has made the finals just twice, crashing out spectacularly to Essendon in 2003’s first elimination final and then, in 2006, a year in which I was inconveniently based in London, making the preliminary final to come third. That year was broadcast as the beginning of an era of supremacy and even respectable pundits predicted we might come away with the flag in 2007. But like a fleeting Kimberley cool season, 2007 WAS our time at the top, and from a position of eleventh at the end of 2007, supporters were forced to confront the distasteful truth that success was not to be and yet another period of re-building was needed.

Footy has been a part of Fremantle life since 1885 when the Fremantle Football Club was one of four teams in the Perth competition. The team dominated the nascent league, its playing strength buoyed by an influx of workers on the newly opened Fremantle Harbour and ‘t’othersiders’, many of them Victorians, attracted west by opportunities flowing from the gold rushes of the 1890s. By 1900, the club splintered into East (‘Old Easts’) and South (the Southerners), who became bitter enemies, their derbies a synonym for rough, competitive affairs which frequently turned into bloodbaths. Both clubs were successful, East Fremantle located in the prosperous middle class suburbs along the Swan River holding the mantle for the most Premierships (26), while South, the city-based team of the working class, the Italian and Croatian populations, has taken 13. I adopted South Freo (before it adopted me) shortly after I arrived in WA, a thirteen-year old pom fresh out of post independence East Africa. I became a ‘Bulldog’ purely by chance, an allegiance derived from a guessed response to the question, ‘Who do yer barrack for?’, combined with the truculence of one who had yet to find a place in a new, very different community. I soon realized my status as a South Freo supporter in a middle class school, where the vast majority of kids followed Claremont or East Fremantle, would forever cast me as something of an outsider, but my pommy accent and unfamiliarity with Australian speech and culture made me an outsider anyway, so what the heck? I soon found a home at Fremantle Oval, came to know those around me on the hill even if many spoke English with an accent or not at all. Like them, footy to me was a path to belonging, to finding a place, to the good natured verbal jousting the rules of which everyone understood, where passions run high and feelings are momentarily upset, but which always suggested an egalitarianism in which ethnic and social background was irrelevant, or at least redeemable.

Occupying a place on the hill in front of the forbidding limestone walls of Fremantle Prison, I came to know my fellow supporters, many of them Croatian families who generously shared their bottomless hampers and during half time breaks related past glories and the exploits of legends such as Steve Marsh, Bernie Naylor, Charlie Tyson and Clive Lewington. Our coach in 1966 was John Todd, a sensation when he burst onto the scene as a 17 year old in 1955 and became the youngest ever Sandover Medalist, beating the semi-deity from East Perth, Polly Farmer. Todd’s playing career was cruelly curtailed by a knee injury early in his career, but I was there at the Foundation Day derby of 1966 when he made a brief and unpredicted comeback to try and bolster a team languishing at the bottom of the ladder. John Gerovich, by then nearing the end of a spectacular career, was a particular favourite, a forward capable of tremendous aerial feats, one who would send a regular companion, an old Croatian market gardener from Spearwood, into asthmatic bouts of coughing whenever he went near the ball. There was the massive Ivan Glucina, a folk hero with hands so huge it was said he could comfortably hold a beer bottle between thumb and little finger, and who went on to represent the State in 1967. Glucina was always the last to leave the field after a game, caught up in the crush of kids who gathered to marvel at his legendary plates of meat, to watch him manipulate the tiny pen as he gave his autograph.  Colin Beard was another hero, a full-back whose torps from deep in defense regularly reached the centre circle. And Brian Ciccotosto, the son of Italian immigrants and to this day involved as the Club CEO, was an immediate star when he made his debut in 1969, a diminutive and pacy rover who went on the play over 200 games, winning in the process a Simpson Medal for best on ground in our 1970 Grand Final win and All-Australian selection in 1972.

South Fremantle fielded so many players of Croatian and Italian descent that we were referred to as the ‘garlic-munchers’, a nickname shared with that other ding dominated team West Perth.  Indeed, so many Croatians played for the red and whites that a team of All Stars, plus an extensive list of emergencies, boasted big names such as Tom Grljusich (258 games), Jon Dorotich (151 games and 131 with Carlton), Darren Gaspar (6 games before playing 21 with Sydney and 207 with Richmond), Glen Jakovich (51 games and 276 with West Coast), Allen Jakovich (7 games and then 47 with Melbourne and 7 with Footscray), Peter Sumich (112 games and 150 with West Coast), Scott Watters (91 games and then 46 with West Coast, 37 for Sydney and 26 for Freo) and of course, Matthew Pavlich, who played just one game for the Bulldogs before finding his way into the Fremantle team. Aboriginal players too have had a major impact at Fremantle Oval, particularly since the late 1970s when a number of Nyungars from the south-west of WA made their debuts, combined with a group of players from the St. Mary’s club in Darwin. First to arrive in 1972 was Sebastian Rioli, a player of rare brilliance and character, the first of a continuing association between South Fremantle and the extensive Melville Island family which brought to the club players of the caliber of ‘Mr. Magic’ Maurice Rioli (168 games, 118 with Richmond, 3 Premierships and numerous medals) and Dean Rioli (19 games and 100 with Essendon). Rioli, coached by Mal Brown and captained by former Richmond rover Noel Carter, together with two other Territory Aboriginal players, skilled and elusive goalsneak Benny Vigona and the human wrecking-ball Basil Campbell, was central to a three-year run of grand finals for one premiership in 1980. He won Simpson Medals for the best in a grand final in 1980 and 1981, the year we were beaten by 15 points by a Claremont team which included the famous brothers from Mt. Barker, Jim and Phil Krakouer. Apart from the brilliance of the Territory mob, Souths of this era was graced by perhaps my favourite player of all time, ruckman Stephen Michael, a Nyungar from Kojonup who played over 240 games for the club, 217 of them in succession, winning numerous awards including two Sandovers along the way. Extraordinarily athletic for a player for his size, Michael was blessed with a prodigious leap and great ground ball skills, and played out his entire career with the Bulldogs, resisting persistent efforts by Geelong to tempt him into the VFL.

By the 1980s, it was all too evident that the West Australian competition was languishing, unable to retain its best players in the face of an expansionist VFL. The formation of the West Coast Eagles in 1987, which grabbed the cream of the State’s footballing talent and took only six years to win their first Premiership (thanks to the brilliance of their battery of Freo boys, Glen Jakovich, Chris Mainwaring, John Worsfold, Peter Matera and Peter Sumich), saw the average crowd sizes at WAFL matches halve and the competition sink to the status of a virtual talent development pool for the AFL. This was a bleak period for South Freo supporters, many half-heartedly following the Eagles by virtue of their galaxy of former Bulldogs, but equally likely to back another AFL team or attempt to re-capture the recent past by continuing to attend WAFL matches that more and more resembled country football without the passion. The Eagles were obviously becoming a power-team of the competition and it was only a matter of time before a second WA team would be born. Fremantle, with its stellar footballing tradition, was an obvious home and, when news broke that the new Fremantle Football Club was to make its debut in 1995, it seemed as if there might be a return to the domination of Freo football, this time on a national scale. Earnest huddles in the coffee shops of the town could be overheard plotting the renaissance, rumours that the old enemies East and South would bury their century-old hatred and re-unite, forming an irresistible force that would reinvigorate the town’s footballing traditions. Mixed feelings greeted the new ‘brand’ when it was unveiled late in 1994. From my far-away home in Derby in WA’s Kimberley region, we watched the television launch of the purple, green and red livery of the ‘Dockers’, colours that sort of went together but were nonetheless surprising, a name which sort of drew on a maritime tradition but in a way I had never heard in my years living in Fremantle. We heard for the first time a song which like the Kenyan national anthem, boasted only four notes, perfect fodder for the tone deaf. My seven year old son Nick, after hours designing attractive home and away jumpers for a team he had christened either the ‘Mariners’ or the ‘Stingrays’, was aghast and, still believing in the omnipotence of his father, urged me to intervene, to put a stop to this nonsense. Far from being a re-birth, Freo was to be something entirely new, unconnected to the two old clubs, but at least it was to be based at the old home of football, Freo Oval. So in spite of a rumbling sense of discomfort, we and the many who immediately swore allegiance watched as it prepared for its debut season.

Unburdened by expectations, that first season was enormous fun. The club’s choice as foundation coach was a Sandgroper Gerard Neesham, a true son of Fremantle and part of an extended Irish-Australian family whose members had starred with East Fremantle since the 1960s, scions of the State’s water-polo establishment. He had asserted his credentials as the successful coach of Claremont in the WAFL and introduced a ‘chip and draw’ game plan, which gave the players license to enjoy the game, to run and bounce, to out-pace and exhaust the opposition, to win boisterously and with style. Fremantle people flocked to support the team, relieved to have a local alternative to the overly-slick but alarmingly successful West Coast Eagles. We came thirteenth that first season but had some memorable wins, powered by the experience of ex-Sandgropers such as Ben Allan, Scott Watters, Stephen O’Reilly and Peter Mann, who had already made their mark with Melbourne teams, and an exuberant corps of Aboriginal players. There was Winnie Abraham, he of the hanging specky and explosive pace, who could burst through packs and goal at will, the likeable, reliable and ultimately tragic figure of Gary Dhurrkay, and Dale Kickett, formerly of the Eagles, St. Kilda and Essendon, and finally comfortable as an attacking half back flanker. And most wonderful of all was Scotty Chisholm, the ‘Prince of Pockets’ so named because of his rumoured royal descent, a player of pace, judgment and anticipation, capable of bringing the crowd to its feet with spectacular bursts into attack, but prone to lose his head, to suddenly prop and turn and be pinged for holding the ball. Watching the Fremantle Dockers in that early period was akin to attending a comic farce, the team’s antics drawing in rapid succession laughter, groans, cheers and screams of agony. The eccentricity of the playing group seemed to be matched by the administration and its tendency to trade players of potential for nonentities, players of the caliber of Peter Bell, discarded after two or three games for being too small and slow who went on to become a North Melbourne star and winner of two premiership medals. And don’t mention Andrew McLeod, adjudged by our recruitment team to be devoid of potential. Instead we picked up some beauties. Who can forget Clive Waterhouse, taken at number one in 1996, who came to personify everything lovable and frustrating about the new club? A former soccer player from South Australia, Waterhouse had the perfect footy physique, a wonderful leap, extraordinary pace and the ability to slot miraculous goals, attributes nullified by a tendency to lose his head when all about him were keeping theirs, to take off in the wrong direction, spread-eagle his team mates, miss the un-missable shot on goal.

At first Neesham’s game plan took opponents by surprise but they soon seemed to get its measure. A new and unpalatable set of Freo football traditions took root – inconsistency, a capacity to be thrown off balance by harder, more determined teams, the tradition of the last quarter fade-out, an inability to string together a series of wins, a schizophrenic battle between the Dockers and the ‘Shockers’. After four seasons of steadily declining performance, Neesham was replaced by Victorian Damian Drum, a taciturn figure whose only memorable achievement was the first ever defeat of our hated cross town rivals the Eagles, a moment that provoked unbridled joy in the streets of Fremantle. Apart from this flash of elation, Drum presided over a team that was going nowhere and after the most awful of many awful seasons, he was dumped midway through 2001 to be replaced by former captain Ben Allan as caretaker coach. Chris Connolly was appointed in 2002, a decision not without its controversy as his main contender John Worsfold, a true product of Fremantle, had an enormous reservoir of popular support. He was quickly snapped up by the Eagles and immediately had an impact, taking them straight into the finals and a Premiership in 2006. Connolly turned out to be a popular and engaging figure, and the team’s performances and consistency improved steadily thanks to players such as the irrepressible captain Peter Bell, the supremely talented and remarkably loyal Matthew Pavlich, Paul Hasleby and Jeff Farmer, loved by Freo supporters and universally detested by everyone else. Yet, the season of our greatest success was a harbinger of gloom and, by 2007, the fun of being eccentric and unpredictable suddenly evaporated as we sunk to eleventh place.  Gone was the ebullience of 2006, the burden of expectation inducing an air of tension and hesitation. After three straight losses to open the season, the team was never really in the hunt, and it was Chris Connolly who shouldered much of the blame. Unceremoniously dumped after round 15 and replaced by former Essendon hard man Mark Harvey, Connolly had become a figure of derision, qualities previously admired now despised.

Harvey’s two seasons have been the most difficult and depressing in the club’s history. Permanently anchored near the bottom of the ladder, we have perfected the art of the spirited performance up to three quarter time, to crash to another unceremonious defeat, punctuated by performances so breathtakingly inept, it is a wonder that anyone at all turns out the following week. The unrelenting grind of the last two seasons have truly tested even the most myopic. Yet, Fremantle supporters have proved themselves a resilient mob, willing to trust Mark Harvey’s determination to go with youth. We are a polyglot mob, old South and East Fremantle supporters mingling with those who, for whatever reason, have chosen to throw in their lot with team lacking in glamour. And there are plenty of us, the club boasting consistently high membership and buoyant finances. Many of us hail from a region which has always seen itself as different from the rest of the Perth metropolitan area. Until recently, Freo was very much the port city, a cultural and social melting pot brought about by its maritime industries, the place where the vast majority of new arrivals first set foot in Australia. Many immigrants stayed in and around Fremantle, which became a multicultural place made up of Italian and Greek fisherman, and market gardeners from the Dalmatian coast who established themselves in the area south of the city. It was a place of radical politics and unionism that grew up around the port and the large population of lumpers which every day made its way into the city from the surrounding suburbs. The place where the State’s only serious challenge to government authority took place in May 1919, when a sustained lumpers’ strike over proposals to bring in non-union labour brought the demise of the nineteen day old conservative government of Sir Hal Colebatch, but not before armed battles between the police and the lumpers on ‘Bloody Sunday’ caused many injuries and the death of Tommy Edwards, to this day an icon of union resistance in Fremantle. And the location of the colony’s first execution and first jail, the ‘Roundhouse’, now a tourist attraction but still reminiscent of the hundreds of Aboriginal prisoners confined there, awaiting transfer to the equally forbidding prison on Rottnest Island. Then for nearly 130 years, Fremantle was the home of the notorious Fremantle maximum security prison which was decommissioned in the 1990s and now is also a popular tourist attraction. Freo was always a Labor stronghold, the seat of Labor luminaries such as Prime Minister John Curtin and Whitlam government minister Kim Beasley Snr. For three short years in the 1980s, it became the home of the America’s Cup, a watershed in the life of the city when corporate money started to flow in and the place’s colonial and Federation architecture became a selling point and a tourist attraction rather than a handicap.

Middle class families rushed to buy, keen to enjoy a perfect location on the small peninsular between the Swan River mouth and the Indian Ocean, attracted by its cosmopolitan ambience, the opportunity to enjoy a good Italian coffee at one of the sidewalk cafes. Artistic and cultural life flourished prompting an alternative nickname ‘Freakmantle’, colonial buildings were refurbished, the private University of Notre Dame bought up almost the entire West End, promising to turn Fremantle into a university town, dangling images of an Oxford and a Cambridge, a Princeton or Harvard, and a largely unfulfilled influx of youthfulness and vitality, of a creative and innovative population. Property prices skyrocketed and the place became gentrified, the old working families moving into the suburbs, guest houses and cheap hotels closing, the pubs which used to occupy to West End gone, recycled as lecture halls and function rooms. And the port itself was changed forever, historic images of teams of lumpers and visiting seamen crowding the streets of the West End now a hazy memory, replaced by banks of containers, mechanization and an increasing number of large cruise liners. Even the old Labor identity of Fremantle has eroded, as the first ever Green Member of the Legislative Assembly was elected in 2008, and the City Council elections of 2009 brought in a Green Mayor.

Yet images of the old Fremantle remain and in the memories of many of its football community, continue to sustain hopes of resurgence and respect as we await the start of the 2010 season with the now familiar sense of anticipation and dread. Will 2010 see a re-run of the Shockers show? Will Harvey’s experiment of building a new team around the familiar forms of Pavlich, Sandilands, MacPharlin, Tarrant and Hasleby see him elevated to the status of football genius? What are the odds on him being the first coach sacked this season? This Sunday we run up against Adelaide, the team which last season gave us our most shameful day in 15 years when we succeed in kicking just the single goal all day. So we will soon get an idea of what we can expect in 2010, but I doubt if even the most vociferous supporter can truly imagine that this will be a finals year. The best we can hope for is a spot just outside the eight, and a wee bit of respect from other teams, even a return to the days when we could count on winning at Subiaco. Regardless, we might be able to join in the muttered refrain of footy supporter, ‘there’s always next season’ with a degree of confidence rather than wishful thinking. And we might yet come to love the purple, the anchor and ‘Way to Go’.

Comments

  1. Neil Belford says

    Very good Malcom, but a fortnight late – I expect we should blame John for that. If Freo were 0-2 it would be a comforting, self flagellating read, kind of parent-mode transactional analysis. I dont exactly agree with parts of it either.

    1. I like the song, always have and I love singing “Freo Heave Ho” a couple of times after we get a goal. Never more so that at Docklands on Sunday. Actually there are 2 great club songs and about 4 more that are actually good, the rest are woefully banal – unless they are yours.

    2. The Harvey years thus far have been much, much better than the Drum years – he just rolled what Neesham left into oblivion.

    3. You were a bit hard on Neesham to be honest. He was years ahead of his time as a coach, his game was the precursor the St Kilda game of today. The abiding principle was to maintain possession and avoid contests wherever possible, to carry the ball, to handpass safely ahead of kicking unsafely. Neesham finished a game out of the 8 in his second year with 22 fit players on the list. He coached under one of the most abysmal club administrations in the history of the game. and from memory he only had three years.

    4. Thank you for your beautiful recollections of Freo oval in the 60’s and 70’s. I only went there as a visitor a couple of times a year and it was a place of mystery and wonderment as a child. We always used to stand on the half forward flank closest to the prison.

    I have just finished a half hour conversation with Les Everett about how much we like our current side. It is brimming with good footy players. It has been popular (until three days ago) to dislike and bag Harvey but the Freo team today is dickhead free, and that hasn’t been the case since about 1998. It also contains a whole pile of guys that can tackle and kick. Harvey has been on the right track all along and actually I was quite happy with where we were at by the end of last year. In fact it has occurred to me that one of the enduring features of the Footy Almanac will be being able to point back (or not) at things that have been written, calls that have been made and so on, in the style such as – see my article – Freo v West Coast, Round 17, 2009 Almanac.

    I think Scarlo and Cam doing time will be enough to tip the balance, my call is the Cats will be too creaky in the graveyard game against Freo this week and then the lid really will be off. My reading of the tea leaves finds Freo finals for 2010. In fact later in the year Gigs ladder may expose something that I am too embarrassed to admit right now.

  2. I agree with Neil, i love the Freo theme song (Im a Collingwood supporter)
    Infact i love it so much that when i went to the game on Sunday at Etihad (Ess vs Freo) i sang and danced to the Freo theme song eventhough i was weraing Collingwood attire and was surrounded by Bomber fans.
    Darn good theme song it is! :)

    Danni

  3. Sean Gorman says

    Danni – weraing any Pies gera will do that to ewe.

    sg

  4. johnharms says

    Yes, Neil. I managed to do little more than make a mental note of tbis piece on my MCH computer, and then found it again yesterday. So it could well have been published just as the ball was being bounced to strat the season.

    I really enjoyed Malcolm’s piece. Like reading Sean Gorman’s piece (forthcoming) for the new Penguin book on supporters and their footy clubs. Both have such a strong sense of history, and are beautifully told, with a real sense of personal link to people, place and history.

    You can feel the footy history in Fremantle, when you walk out of the markets on A Saturday morning and hear the whistle of the bloke umpiring the ressies. LOve it.

  5. Love the big nod to the Croatian wing of the SFFC players and supporters. Ivan Glucina! That’s right: there were more mobile ruckmen. Fred Senior and Stephen Michael spring immediately to mind. But Glucina cast a big shadow! One player not mentioned, and who followed in the footsteps of John Gerovich, was Peter Troode, who also came out of the market gardens of Spearwood. There is a Troode Road there still. My god, could that man fly!

    Look forward to Sean’s piece on fans. His Krakouer Brothers book is still one of the best around.

  6. Thanks Malcolm, enjoy the season.

    In 2006 when we won and won I grew to love the song. You’re on the right track Danni, adopt the Dockers as your second team.

    I now live about 100 Ivan Glucina miss-kicks from Fremantle Oval*. (A 10 minute walk.) My first visit was to see South play Swans in 1975. It was one of Stephen Michael’s first games and I thought, but luckily didn’t announce, that he wasn’t much good.

    *It would have taken Ivan a season get 100 kicks.

  7. One of my favourite memories of going to the footy was when I saw Carlton v Fremantle at the MCG in 2005. The Dockers were up for Shane Parker’s 200th match, (or it might have been 250?) Anyway, the Dockers were purple-hot, with Matthew Pavlich kicking nine goals and yes, I did enjoy listening to the Freo song blaring a lot.

    Great piece Malcolm.

  8. Dave Nadel says

    Fascinating article, Malcolm. Like Neil, I think that you were too hard on Neesham. For his chip and draw style to work he needed a class full forward in front of goal to capitalise on the safe movement of the ball. He had this at Claremont with John Hutton. Hutton was a good full-forward in the WAFL, but as he proved at three clubs, he was not an AFL standard Full Forward. Fremantle did not really get a good full forward until it recruited Tony Modra from Adelaide. But by then Gerard Neesham was long gone.

  9. Jonathan says

    Great piece Malcolm; love the recollections of Freo Oval in the 1960’s. I grew up in 1970’s Attadale, genteel but full of kids that were mad East Fremantle supporters, perversely I pledged my support to the mighty Perth Demons, the best team of the era. Needless to say, since then they’ve been terrible. Spent many a happy day at Freo Oval though as Mum used to have a craft stall at the Markets, and distinctly remember as a 10 year old the great Basil Campbell kicking the first goal of the 1980’s, against a very ordinary Demons side. Souths were a great team then.

    In regards the current team, I detected in the North pre-season game a real sense of camaraderie, a big dollop of ‘mongrel’ that probably hasn’t been there before. They won’t take a backward step for anyone. They look like a real unit.

  10. Sean Gorman says

    The other great thing about 2006 was the revitalization of ACDC’s TNT. That blasting out after another Freo win after the ‘official’ club song was simply unreal. This round against the Cats will be the real test methinks – confidence is worth a million bucks and we will need every last cent against the Cats even without The Bushranger Mooney and the Surgeon Scarlett. Thanks also for the kind words Mike….

  11. I have a real admiration for Freo after a bumpy start. Gobsmacked initially, I reckon their home jumper is a classic (can’t cop the white one yet). A W.A. holiday several years ago endeared me to the Club. Like JTH mentioned, I emerged from the markets in to the footy ground and felt like this was a team and a town as distinct from a “franchise”. What a culture they have inherited as a football town and how lucky is the AFL to have Clubs like them. Sydney, Brisbane etc all say how viable they can be with success…look at how the Dogs, Tigers and Dockers manage to front up regardless. Freo show that a footy club should offer more than just a win/loss balance sheet to justify admiration and survival.

  12. I really love Rod Oaten’s histories and inbred Bomberness, but I think he misses the mark with his attack on Freo in his latest match review on Dons and Dockers.

  13. Thanks Malc! Took me back to dropping in to the game with you at Freo oval. I vividly remember a Tigers Bulldogs game – me and my mate (what were we, 6 years old?) annoying the crap out of you by barracking and chanting for both sides. Great to read about your early experiences with the club. This Freo expat is well and truly homesick now! Lets catch a game this July – sounds like our team Dockers may even still be around then!

  14. CAN’T BELIEVE THEY ARE GETTING RID OF THE THEME SONG!!!! :(

  15. Danni, ditto, although they suggest they will actuially consult with the membership this time. I shudder to think what horrendous song they will put up in it’s place.

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