Look what they’ve done to my club, ma!

Open letter to the Western Bulldogs hierarchy…if there’s anyone still running the asylum.

Bulldogs you’ve finally broken me. After 60years as a supporter and twenty years as a member, I saw the Bulldogs play one of the worst games ever at the Gabba on the weekend. No wonder David Smorgon has gone missing. About the same age as me and seeing the 1954 premiership as a kid like me, he must be just as sick in the guts as I am.

In previous years no matter how bad we were going, we usually finished the season well and quite often knocked over a top team in the final round. It gave the supporters hope for the next season. Sometimes false hope…but it was hope for the future. Yesterday after that performance you took away that hope and left us supporters with nothing, absolutely nothing to look forward to.

I now fear once again for the Club’s future. Something I haven’t felt since 1996 when David Smorgon arrived after saying enough is enough after the Bulldogs finished virtually last that year. The Club was revitalised given a new name and mad a prelim in 1997 and 1998. Lots of heartache when we were beaten by Jarmen and co, but we had hope for a number of years. Now we have nothing.

I don’t know if bad recruiting is to blame, but I’m starting to wonder if the top-line recruits are avoiding crossing the Maribynong. Compere the lack of forwards and key-position players at the Bulldogs compared to the over-abundance at Hawthorn. How can Hawthorn pluck someone like Jack Gunston from nowhere to add to their forward line? How can the Bulldogs compete with a team of goal-kickers that include Franklin, Roughead, Hale and Gunston…and everyone else on their list? With all the equalization and financial propping-up, the Bulldogs are light-years away from even being competitive.

Whenever anyone criticises their own like me, the usual response is, “So what would you do to fix things?” Well I would probably unload at least ten players off the list for a start and not leave those players that just show ‘potential’. This is crisis time and the Club has to start winning a few games in a hurry or the vicious cycle of members not signing on again will hurry the decline of the Club. We haven’t got time for the Jarrod Grant’s to come good.

And recruiters please, if you have a choice between a slightly-built midget and a solidly-built key-position player, for God’s sake pick the big guy!

I have avoided having a go at the coaches all year as I waited for the ‘new game plan’ to kick in. But after yesterday’s debacle, it’s a case of no more mister nice-guy! I am so shattered I am now questioning that other mister nice-guy in the coach’s box. Those calming words to the faithful earlier in the season don’t wash any more. The repeated mantra about ” We’re getting the boys to win the contested ball first of all” and “I know we’re not kicking too many goals at the moment, but it will come”. So the team wins the contested ball most of the time and then can’t do anything else. I’m also ready to give the assistant coaches a serve. What backline coach would allow players defending to do those dinky handballs on the goal line and kick backwards towards the goal before they’re swamped (pressed) by the opposition? I think those assistant coaches appointed this year have really B or C class abilities. I realize that even the A-team of assistants at Essendon didn’t get them over the line in the finish, but why do the Bulldogs have to make do with second-raters? Bad recruiting again?

I fear for my club’s future because it’s been such a big part of my life. It’s time for another revolution to give us back our hope.

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. Wallace’s downhill skiers are slowly leaving, but we’re left with dogged types.
    The “support team” for the coach worried me from the outset.
    Jason McCartney has been deified for getting burnt.
    The rest wouldn’t get a gig anywhere else.
    The Club will survive but needs a kick up the Khyber.

  2. The hawk from mort says

    Well done bulldog just sat down post season and read through all your work. It is absolutely fantastic reading, coming from someone who doesn’t, read a lot except the sport pages in any paper willing to print something. My season has only just finished on the last weekend, but was not the result I was hoping for. The balloons and streamers have been finally dragged from the suspended ceiling, these were to catch the eye of every non competing supporter that entered the shop, leaving them in no doubt where my heart was. Being very fortunate to be born into a “glenferrie may blooms” religious cult , I do feel for the diehard supporters of less successful clubs, as our boys have delivered a flag, on average about every four and a half years I have been alive. Keep the faith I think it was thirty six years before our boys won their first in 61′.nice to finally see some repayment for the great bargain we sent you fellas all those years ago aka (jade Rawlings) . Hopefully Brian lake will fit in just beautifully. Until next time we will watch the draft with great hope and anticipation .

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