I have a dream

Supporters of clubs such as Brisbane, Geelong, Sydney and (yawn) Hawthorn have celebrated lots of premierships over the last decade.

There are three Victorian clubs which haven’t enjoyed that experience since the middle of last century. For all the budding writers in the John Harms class at Scotch College, this stat could give you the impetus to combine sport’s writing with ancient history.

Yesterday Bulldog supporters had a taste of those winning celebrations when they farewelled Daniel Cross.

There were only 20,000 supporters to cheer Crossy as he did his lap (laps) of honour but it had the look of Grand Final day. Red, white and blue colours everywhere, no-one leaving early and hope in the future after the Bulldogs notched up their eighth win of the season.

I can’t imagine Crossy playing against his old side, but he wants to continue with another club. One of the best players on the ground yesterday, some lucky club will pick up this dedicated player who lives and breathes football. Just a different character to another retiree Justin Koschitzke who can’t wait to play with his old country side … and have a few beers after the match.

If Crossy was in the Army he wouldn’t have a reputation as a sharp-shooter. He would be more likely to be known as the guy who smothered the grenade to protect his mates. Courage personified. He would also be the guy to ask the drill-sergeant if he could run a few more laps of the parade-ground before they hit the showers. The best trainer and endurance runner at the Bulldogs for the last decade.

Then there is his impeccable character. Modest, dedicated to his club and never hits the headlines for the wrong reasons. Along with the likes of Chris Grant, Brad Johnson and Rohan Smith he is one of the reasons Bulldog supporters stick with their club through the lean years.

And now for my recurring dream. It’s back again after the Bulldogs finished the season so well compared to last year.

It’s Grand Final day 2015. The Master of Ceremonies Craig Willis Junior is calling out the name of the victorious Bulldog team to come up to the podium and receive their medals… and their Mission sponsored caps.

” Number one….Jarrad….Grant! (Not sure how Jarrad Grant snuck into my dream, but he did kick a miracle goal yesterday.)

” Number two….Bob …Murphy!  (Thanks for hanging in there for two more years Bob.)

” Number four…Clay…Smith!  ( Clay was given Crossy’s old number because of the same courage shown.)

” And number three and captain of the Bulldogs….Mitch…Wallis!

“Could the winner of the 2015 Norm Smith Medal please join his captain to receive the medal from Chris Grant….Number thirty-nine…Tom Liberatore!”  (Tom has decided to wear his father’s old number.)

And just like the Swans after they broke their premiership drought in 2005, this time there is a burst of red, white and blue colours throughout the stadium.

Before the alarm goes off, the final part of my dream are the celebrations back at the Mission-Victoria University- Whitten Oval. Something I’ve craved over the decades after watching all the other victorious teams returning to their home grounds to be introduced one at a time to their fans.

Dare to dream Bulldog supporters.


About Neil Anderson

Enjoys reading and writing about the Western Bulldogs. Instead of wondering if the second premiership will ever happen, he can now bask in the glory of the 2016 win.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Enjoyable Piece Neil 1 eyed passion written with cavalier nothing wrong with a dream problem is I fear Gold Coast and GWS will be hitting there straps around then also

  2. Yvette Wroby says

    Keep the dream Neil, maybe there is romance in the world after all and the Bullies, having waited the longest since their last, will get there before the upstarts. Sometimes history and memory can be great forces and Bulldogs have that in spades. Woof.


  3. Kerrie soraghan says

    A fabulous dream and one I share. You might have us there a year too early – hey we’ve waited so long, I think I can stick it out til 2016.

    I love the analogy of Cross as an army recruit. It will kill me to see him in other colors. A wonderful player for our club, unheralded as so many stars for the smaller clubs tend to be.

    Neil I promise to meet you for a well earned drink when your dream comes true.

  4. Neil Anderson says

    I thought you might appreciate a tribute to Daniel Cross Kerrie. I was starting to worry that other Doggie supporters weren’t responding about the great man.
    Nice words from Yvette who knows what we endure but love about our one-premiership clubs.
    That well-earned drink after the eventual Bulldog triumph was also part of the dream but I forgot to mention it. It might be an idea to have a pre-triumph drink in case it all happens after 2015. I’m not getting any younger.
    May I suggest Chez All Nations in Richmond which is a fabulous little boutique bar and bistro. Perhaps in December when those sporting chaps launch their books about AFL football and rugger.

  5. Andrew Starkie says

    Go Dogs in 2014, Neil. Hope they don’t live to regret moving on Crossy like Melbourne did with a few ‘older’ players. I read the article on Kozy in The Age . I felt sorry for him. Hope he enjoys hving a kick in the bush. He deserves it. How many more like him are there in the AFL?

  6. Great work Neil, there should be an honour roll for blokes like Cross should the great day ever come where the dream is fulfilled.
    So many great servants on and off the field who have never seen the ultimate glory or even a trip to the big dance.
    The unsung modest warriors,Cross,Morris,Mick Egan,Ross Abbey,Brian Cordy etc etc etc.
    It was sad to see another of the 54′ team passed away last week, Vale Dave Bryden

  7. Neil Anderson says

    Thanks for the comments from the Daniel Cross Appreciation Society.
    Just had a look at the Bulldog website and the post-match information they send to members. Further to my article about Sunday’s match being a taste of grand-final day, they showed Boyd and Libba being interviewed saying how they dug deep for Crossy and Gia to win because of the respect for those two guys. In the background of the change-rooms was a wall of fans who refused to leave as Crossy walked over with his young child to have a chat. You can’t imagine Crossy getting the lighter out and trying to ignite the entertainment on Mad Monday, or as Bob Murphy calls it, The Wake.
    Speaking of Libba, are the selectors still thinking about that tablet they found in his pocket over a year ago? You would think the best clearance player in the League would be named at least in the squad of forty.

  8. Andrew Starkie says

    Hope springs eternal. it’s what keeps the smaller clubs going

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