Grand Final 2016 – Sydney v Western Bulldogs: Great Blokes and Role Models of Bevo and Murph

Saturday, 1 October 2016
2:30 pm (1:30 pm Kyoto)
Melbourne Cricket Ground

The Bulldogs are rising up after the shocking loss to Fremantle in Round 23. Beating two last year’s Finalists (West Coast and Hawthorn) and young Giants gains their confidence.

Nearly two weeks ago, my old friend and I talked about getting career counselling at school to see talents and skills. While he has had sessions in the UK, I had no opportunity to have the one here in Japan. But his current job was not matching what he had been advised.

Probably it’s hard to seek the future as adolescents? Footy players start training at childhood and gain skills. But do they have natured talents in childhood? Maybe. And even cricketers and basketball players can turn to footy.

Bulldogs seem to unleashed hidden talents in the final series under the second year coach Luke Beveridge. Or they gained playing skills and life skills to be strong?

I was worried about losing the Elimination Final against Eagles. But the home atmosphere at Coolabah brought the Bulldogs a win. I was at the pub because I thought that it would be the last game for the Doggies to play in 2016. Nah! And great!

But it was the last 2016 AFL game for me to watch with other footy diehards in the pub, because I had to work on the Grand Final Day. However I watch footy live on my Tablet.

On the other hand, it is the first time to see Bulldogs playing the Grand Final. The previous time was 55 years ago and I’m 43.

Due to dramatic wins in the final series, I predict the Western Bulldogs to win by 10 points. It comes from my belief in my heart too.

And Bulldogs fever reported by media (which I have found on Facebook) are reasons to tip (unofficially) the Doggies.

Tuning in my AFL Global Pass ten minutes prior to the biggest match of the year, I feel a different and rich atmosphere from the ‘G through Channel 7 live coverage.

The ball is bounced and Bulldogs dominate, but it’s hard to break Sydney’s defense lines. Kicking errors distract Doggies from scoring a goal.

Opposed to Footscray, Swans are good at taking marks inside 50 including is Buddy. But the Bulldogs bounce back and score two goals at the first quarter while the Swans score 1.1.

Bulldogs are inexperienced in the September action while Sydney have been powerhouse for years. Errors by Bulldogs are the proof. I am nervous even though I am a Sainter.

Doggies kick goals continuously but Swans show their balanced skills to lead. The Bulldogs cannot answer. Swans lead by two points at Half Time.

But Bulldogs have great skills in handballs and turn overs. Young Tom Boyd, Dickson and Picken are great goal kickers for the day.

Getting opportunities from handballs and kicks in the forward pocket bring Doggie’s goals.

After Picken’s goal at the last minutes, the Bulldogs start partying. Normally Beveridge embraces assistant coaches up in the box, but he comes down to the bench with injured Murphy. And Bevo and players start hugging on the boundary line and they are so passionate.

McLean misses kicking a goal after the final siren, but the 62-year premiership drought ends. Bulldog boys hugs with massive passion showing the joy of winning the flag. Murphy cries again as well as do I. I like their passion of celebrating.

During the match, commentators mention that Bulldogs don’t take many marks, but handball most.

Taking a mark brings a free kick and a mark inside 50 is effective to score a goal. But Bulldogs’ great handball skills create no space in the goal pocket so that they can score goals. And turn overs and swifts are other strengths to score goals.

Beveridge set a great game plan covering fewer marks. He sought the alternative methods to score goals with strength in handballs.

I admire him seeing boys’ strengths and talents. I have to adopt his coaching style into my real life.

Writing skills in English should be considered to the future job. I wish I could write more articles in English  even though writing won’t be all the responsibilities in my job.

Later on the day, I find a delighting news Beveridge gave his premiership medal to Murphy. How humanity it is. They embrace a lot and have strong bonds.

My nomination for the cover of Footy Almanac 2016 is Beveridge handing the medal to Murphy because it’s memorable and we think it’s the greatest scene in the footy this year.

And Bob is a great and inspiring captain who has positive thinking and writes wonderful columns. His never give up attitude that I sense from his columns in the Age newspaper bring the Dogs the second flag. That’s why Bevo rewards Murph in such a way.

Both the senior coach and the skipper have really worked hard and transform the club very well. Beveridge’s coaching experience in a lower competition and what he gained at Hawthorn as an assistant coach and Murphy’s leadership skills that didn’t use fully before being appointed as a captain mix well and work out very best. And the new logo of the scary Bulldog adds aggressiveness on the field.

Murphy and Beveridge are my role models. I need to learn from the Bulldogs’ successful story to improve me and my life, even if I have to coach and train all on my own. I guess that both blokes compliment players’ strength more than pointing out mistakes or weaknesses.

I need to focus on my strengths. As in a good quote, I believe focusing on my strengths will improve weaknesses naturally. I need to get a new job soon to feed myself and to achieve my goal to watch a St Kilda game at the recently AFL purchased stadium in Docklands (unless watching a home game played at MCG) next year.

Now St Kilda is the only Victorian club who ave won only one flag. But I believe we win the second flag in the next few years (hopefully by 2018). We need to follow Footscray and be better than them. Even Nick Riewoldt is no longer the skipper, I believe he and Alan Richardson will bring us the second flag with a new captain, in their unique ways.

SYDNEY SWANS 1.2 7.3 8.5 10.7 (67)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.0 7.1 9.7 13.11 (89)

Sydney Swans: Kennedy 3, Mitchell 2, Parker, N. Smith, Rohan, Franklin, Hewett
Western Bulldogs: T. Boyd 3, Dickson 3, Picken 3, Cordy, McLean, C. Smith, Stringer

Sydney Swans: Kennedy, Mitchell, Rampe, Heeney, Jones, Hannebery
Western Bulldogs: Johannisen, Picken, T. Boyd, Macrae, M. Boyd, Dahlhaus

Umpires: Stevic, Meredith, Jeffery

Official crowd: 99,981

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Well said Yoshi. Go Doggies. Go Saints. Go Yoshi for a better future!

  2. Neil Anderson says

    Well said Yoshi about the quality of people in charge of the Western Bulldogs. When the Dogs were struggling and us supporters were questioned why we kept following a team that struggled all the time, our answer was, it is because of the quality of those people at the Club trying to improve things. David Smorgon, Peter Gordon and now Luke Beveridge and Bob Murphy are the standouts. And you can add Chris Grant, vice-President Susan Albertti and coaches Rohan Smith and Daniel Giansiracusa who were also one-club players. I saw that Daniel Cross was at the Saturday night celebrations with his good mate Matty Boyd. I hope Daniel returns to work at the Dogs. He deserved to be a big part of the celebrations.
    Whenever I see one of Bob Murphy’s newspaper articles and his style of writing, I always wish he wrote for the Almanac as well. I certainly like his style particularly the way he doesn’t take himself too seriously.
    You can imagine how much I’m looking forward to next season Yoshi. I’m sure you are too as teams like the Saints examine the Bulldogs success in what was a remarkable year of football.

  3. Hi Yvette and Neil,

    Thanks for your comments with nice compliments.

    Yvette – let’s hope we, the Saints are playing great footy next year. And I would like to answer your good wishes for my life.

    Neil – you made good points on how to be loyal and faith to a footy club. These people make us strong. And thanks for your suggestion. For Saints, I acknowledge former coach Grant Thomas in this category because he taught his boys to invest them to the future and to be loyal. Then Riewoldt followed Think as well as Lenny Hayes and other one club players.



  4. Neil Anderson says

    Yes Yoshi, Riewoldt and Hayes and now coach Richardson are the equivalent of those good guys you need at the Club. I left out our stand-in captain Eason Wood before when talking about quality people. My wife used to teach with Easton’s father in a nearby town and his mother is a good friend of one of my wife’s former teaching colleagues.
    Grant Thomas still gets a lot of plaudits from past players. He took Warrnambool to three premierships in the late eighties which is our nearest large town of 34,000 people.

  5. Yoshi i’m expecting the Saints to be in the eight in 2017. There are a few sides with what it takes to be up there next year, the Saints being one of them.

    I hear , and this might be scuttlebutt, that the Saints are talking about playing in Auckland in 2017. Have you heard this tale ?


  6. Barkly St End says

    Further to what Glen said above, the Saints beat us last year in an amazing come back and also won the second game in the latter half of this season, and won it well.

    If there is one team who I would liken most to the dogs in terms of tackling pressure and multiple frenetic handballs, it would be the saints – to my eyes at least.

    They already have a very good young midfield, and they are about to add the Giants’ Jack Steele who has some genuine hardness in his game.

    In short, the Saints are definitely looking at a top 8 finish next year.,

  7. G’day Neil, Glen and Barkly St End,

    Thanks for your comments too!

    Neil – It’s nice to hear you have sort of great connections with acting captain, Easton Wood. The world is small. I think the mighty Saints won’t be the same without Thomo. I miss him on Footy Classified! And I think Murphy should be a presenter at Sports Writers Festival this week in Melbourne. I wish I could be there to gain skills and knowledge of sport writing.

    Glen – I have heard that the Saints would be playing in Auckland, but the plan has not been confirmed. We will see what happens.

    Barkly – You made a good point of view about handball skills. Our midfielders have done terrific jobs this year and are blossoming next year more. I haven’t researched about Steele yet, but hope we add some other great players to march in more next year so that we will play finals.



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