Toast Chris Grant - A Retrospectus

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Game #111 – Round 11, 1995 vs Adelaide at Football Park (10/6/1995)

Kicked 0.3 from 9k, 6hb in 44-point loss to the Crows.


Tony Modra did not play.
 

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Game #110 – Round 10, 1995 vs Richmond at MCG (4/6/1995)

Kicked 1.1 from 8k, 4hb in 32-point loss to the Tigers.

Grant was the pick of the Bulldogs forwards but was beaten by Richmond pretzel David Bourke with assistance from the other Richmond defenders.

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Game #109 – Round 9, 1995 vs Essendon at MCG (27/5/1995)

Kicked 1.1 from 8k, 3hb in 34-point loss to the Bombers.

In game #4 of a six-game losing streak, Footscray's attack continued to misfire with Ilja Grgic, Richard Osborne and even Chris Grant, the Bulldogs' star forward, all spending time on the bench.

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Game #108 – Round 8, 1995 vs North Melbourne at Western Oval (20/5/1995)

One of our best, kicking 2.0 from 12k, 8hb in 21-point loss to the Kangaroos.

A surprise choice for Wayne Carey-duty at centre half- back was Leon Cameron. Conceding 7cm, the regular Footscray on-baller enlisted the help of ruckman Scott Wynd early. When the orders changed, and Cameron was left alone, he fared well. Cameron was thrashed in the air but on the ground he had the better of the Kangaroo captain.

Mick Martyn left his full-back post to take on Granty at CHF. Grant though, took Martyn apart in the third term, which set up a brief, but intriguing, clash between him and Carey. During the third term, Turtle grabbed the game by the throat and copped a heavy whack to the ribs from Ross Smith. Grant returned stronger after a spell, despite the pain of bruised ribs. In 15 minutes he showed his finest match-winning form, forcing North coach Denis Pagan to move Carey. The strong marking and bullocking work from a player with a dodgy set of ribs was inspirational. It was his example that almost snatched the game for the Bulldogs.

The Dogs, inspired by Grant, booted four goals in 17 minutes shaving North's lead to seven points, with a handy breeze to come home on. Without Carey as a foe, Cameron followed up the possession count, becoming almost as dangerous as Grant. Carey returned to his usual post, dragging Cameron back and Mark Roberts had a turn on Grant. Eventually the task fell to Craig Sholl and, while Grant remained dangerous, the edge was dulled.

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Quite possibly mark of the year.
 

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Game #107 – Round 7, 1995 vs St Kilda at Waverley Park (13/5/1995)

Kicked 1.0 from 7k, 8hb in 18-point loss to the Saints. After a sluggish start, Danny Frawley did not let Turtle free.

The Dogs blew a 32-point lead to let the Saints in for their first win of the season, prompting St Kilda coach Stan Alves to send in six senior players to bask in the post-match press conference rather than himself.

 

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Game #106 – Round 6, 1995 vs Geelong at Western Oval (6/5/1995)

Kicked 1.1 from 8k, 8hb in 88-point loss to the Cats.

Gary Ablett wore gloves for the first time at kicked 9.7 (61) to the Dog's combined total of 8.14 (62).

 
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Basically the team becoming disenchanted with Joyce?
Quite a bit went wrong leading to the wheels falling off I think.

They made the finals in 1994 and 1995 however in '95 only went 11-1-10 during H&A and lost heavily at times. So they probably overrated the list, which had plentiful spuds, then a few long-term injuries to key players including Leon Cameron really hurt.

Plus, from a previous Retrospectus entry:

The threat of merger hung over the club the whole season. Alan Joyce was sacked as coach halfway through the season after a horror run of losses. The club’s youngest player, Shaun Baxter, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. New recruit Alan Jakovich (taken with pick 9 in the draft) failed to fire. Even the “baby elephant walk” during the players’ revue was lacklustre.
 

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Game #105 – Round 5, 1995 vs Fremantle at Western Oval (29/4/1995)

Kicked 3.0 from 10k, 6hb in 2-point win over the Dockers.

Granty was "beaten" for most of the day by Stephen O'Reilly, although he still managed three valuable goals including one from a mark 18 minutes into the last quarter that gave Footscray the lead.

And now we cross to Peter Landy to take up the action:

 

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Game #104 – Round 4, 1995 vs Melbourne at Princes Park (23/4/1995)

Kicked 1.1 from 12k, 5hb in 23-point win over the Dees.

Demons coach Neil Balme revealed before the game that he planned to play David Neitz on Chris Grant, and use Jim Stynes at CHF rather than in the ruck. By the end of the game, Balmey said: "We simply weren't able to kick it where we wanted to kick it or handball it where we wanted to handball it". Eek.

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The final piece of the puzzle.
 

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Game #103 – Round 3, 1995 vs Carlton at MCG (15/4/1995)

Kicked 1.4 from 8k, 3hb in 98-point loss to the Blues.

Peter Dean picked up Chris Grant at centre half-back and shut him out, before seeing Grant moved to full-forward where he found Stephen Silvagni a handful also.

The Carlton side of 1995 was one of the truly great AFL teams. In this game, Stephen Kernahan kicked 10.7 (67) and the Bulldogs managed 8.12 (60).

Watch and implode:

 
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Game #102 – Round 2, 1995 vs Hawthorn at Waverley Park (8/4/1995)

Kicked 3.1 from 10k, 2hb in 24-point win against the Hawks.

Chris Langford kept Granty quiet until the second quarter, when Turtle was moved to centre half-forward and made an immediate impact.

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Game #101 – Round 1, 1995 vs Sydney at Western Oval (2/4/1995)

BOG
, kicking 4.3 from 14k, 4hb in 17-point win over the Swans.

As expected, a full-forward took this match by the scruff of the neck and made it his own. But that man was not Tony Lockett, playing his first game for Sydney. The key forward who turned this game was Footscray's Chris Grant, whose bursts in the second and final quarters ensured that whatever tricks Lockett could conjure at the other end would not prove enough for a Sydney win.

Grant first stamped his authority on the match in the second term, when he countered Lockett's three-goal opening burst with three of his own, including a pearler just before half-time. In the third term, as in the first, he was quiet as he roamed across half-forward into the breeze. But a three-minute burst early in the final quarter was enough to spark a Footscray win.

With the Bulldogs four points ahead at the five-minute mark, Grant chipped the ball delicately to Ilija Grgic, who marked and goaled. Moments later it was Grant to Grgic again, this time after Grant, seemingly hemmed against the boundary line in the forward pocket, arched the ball back to Grgic, who again marked and converted. Two minutes after that, Grant goaled after a brilliant pass from Brad Johnson, and the Swans were done.

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Game broken!
 
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Game #100 – Semi Final, 1994 vs Melbourne at MCG (18/9/1994)

Kicked 2.1 from 5k, 1hb in his 100th game, a 79-point loss to the Dees.

Despite the scoreline, the undersized Bulldogs scrapped hard throughout this belting to the classy Demons.

The Doggies’ cause was not helped when Grant, who had started well, charged headlong for a second-quarter mark that led to his being knocked out and carried off.

From that point even Barry Standfield couldn’t drag the Bulldogs over the line.

This is why they invented YouTube:



Footscray in 1994

According to the back cover of Hot Dogs, the VHS highlights tape, 1994 was a season to savour for the Bulldogs.

“There has never been any question about the size of the Bulldogs heart and in 1994 it was beating on full power.

After a sluggish start, coach Terry Wheeler was replaced by former Hawthorn mentor Alan Joyce and from that moment the whole attitude changed at the Western Oval.

Joyce found the button Wheeler had lost and the Scraggers began to fire. They charged at the eight and by the season’s end they were right in the hunt for a shot at the flag.

It wasn’t to be, but no one will ever forget their gutsy fightback in the Qualifying Final against Geelong – a performance which, in so many ways, typified this gritty football team.

There were stars too, however. Chris Grant was superb all season, Leon Cameron gave us flashes of his trademark brilliance, young champions emerged like Kym Koster and Brad Johnson, while the club found a new hero in West Australian recruit Danny Southern.

It was a season which had everything for the Bulldogs and it is surely one to savour.”


Footscray finished 5th on the ladder with 13 wins and 9 losses and a percentage of 110.6.

Turtle ’94 – The Big One

1994 was a big year for Chris Grant.

At just 21 years old, he displayed his sublime talent throughout the season. Granty kicked a career-high 71.51 from 24 games and earned his first best and fairest award and 15 Brownlow Medal votes.

It was at around about that time that teammate Doug Hawkins, no slouch himself when it came to ball skills, described Grant as a 'Rolls Royce' among footballers.
 
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Game #99 – Qualifying Final, 1994 vs Geelong at MCG (10/9/1994)

Kicked 2.1 from 7k, 3hb in 5-point loss to the Cats.

This was a beast of a game that gets a regular airing thanks to Anthony "Billy" Brownless kicking the winning goal after the siren. Footscray, one of the Cinderellas of the AFL season, lost no friends in one of the most spirited performances of the year, which had a cruel ending in only the last three seconds.

You can impress people at parties, job interviews and bail hearings by asking who kicked a goal after the siren in this game? In fact three players-- Keena Reynolds (quarter time), David Mensch (half time) and Billy (king of Geelong).

Grant's influence was minimal early in the game, as Geelong was dominating the midfield. When the ball began moving into Footscray's forward line, his battle with Stephen O'Reilly proved to be one of the highlights of the tight encounter.

As you wish:

 

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Game #98 – Round 24, 1994 vs West Coast at Subiaco (4/9/1994)

Kicked 2.2 from 10k, 1hb in 71-point loss to the Eagles.

With the exception of Chris Grant, who battled hard all day, and later Keenan Reynolds, the Bulldogs forwards were completely outclassed.

This game was notable for a half time brawl in which Danny Southern put Peter Sumich in a headlock which left the big Eagles forward unconscious.

 

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Game #97 – Round 23, 1994 vs Melbourne at Whitten Oval (27/8/1994)

One of our best, kicking 4.4 from 14k, 2hb in 40-point win over the Dees, collecting two Brownlow votes.

Sean Wight began the game on Turtle as Footscray's major target, but was shifted away midway through the third term as Paul Prymke tried his luck. Wight would later return, but Grant remained the star forward of the day.

An inspired burst from Granty blew this game open. He kicked the first goal of the second half to tie the game up, scorched past opponent Prymke to goal again minutes later, then split a pack down the middle in an aerial contest when well out of position. The crumb was gathered by Robert West, who converted. In just 10 minutes, Grant had turned the game the Doggies' way. His third term was a polished, mature performance from a player contributing leadership beyond his 21 years.

But don't just take my word for it:

 

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Game #95 – Round 21, 1994 vs St Kilda at Waverley Park (13/8/1994)

Kicked 2.2 from 9k, 7hb in 45-point win over the Saints.

Time enough to check the leading goalkickers at the end of the round:

103 G Ablett (Geel)
82 J Dunstall (Haw)
63 S Minton-Connell (Syd)
61 T Modra (Adel)
58 S Kernahan (Carl)
J Longmire (Nth Melb)
56 C Grant (Foots)
52 G Lyon (Melb)
51 A Jakovich (Melb)
49 S Rocca (Coll)
M Richardson (Rich)
47 C O'Brien (St K)

Believe it or not a couple of versions of this game can be found on YouTube, one complete with 3LO commentary:



 

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Game #94 – Round 20, 1994 vs Adelaide at Whitten Oval (7/8/1994)

BOG
, kicking 7.2 from 12k, 3hb in 84-point win over the Crows.

Grant, who under coach Alan Joyce had consolidated himself as a true spearhead rather than a centre half-forward, finished with seven goals, five opposed to All-Australian Nigel Smart.

Hall of Fame-worthy stuff:

 

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Game #93 – Round 19, 1994 vs North Melbourne at MCG (29/7/1994)

Kicked 2.2 from 8k, 2hb in 20-point loss to the Kangaroos.

North Melbourne brute Mick Martyn overwhelmed Grant, nominally full-forward but in fact playing a long way from goal to leave room for Richard Osborne, who kicked three. Grant did not kick a goal until well into the final quarter, but the horse had bolted by then.

Check out the 1994 season highlights here:

 

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Game #92 – Round 18, 1994 vs Collingwood at Western Oval (23/7/1994)

One of our best, kicking 3.1 from 8k, 2hb in 32-point win over the Magpies.

The Bulldogs forward line was structured around Granty and functioned well all day.

This game was notable for Tony Shaw breaking the Pies games record, and the debut of young Brad Johnson.

For those wanting to relive their first BJ experience, check it out:

 
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Game #92 – Round 18, 1994 vs Collingwood at Western Oval (23/7/1994)

One of our best, kicking 3.1 from 8k, 2hb in 32-point win over the Magpies, collecting 1 Brownlow vote.

The Bulldogs forward line was structured around Granty and functioned well all day.

This game was notable for Tony Shaw breaking the Pies games record, and the debut of young Brad Johnson.

For those wanting to relive their first BJ experience, check it out:

Always happy to relive my first BJ experience. Just didn't realise there was footage* of it.

* "footage" might be a slight exaggeration
 

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