Toast Chris Grant - A Retrospectus

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Game #30 – Round 19, 1991 vs Fitzroy at Western Oval (27/7/1991)

Kicked 2.2 from 9k, 5hb in 57-point win over the Lions.

This match is notable for being Matthew Croft's first game.

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Game #29 – Round 16, 1991 vs Collingwood at Victoria Park (6/7/1991)

Kicked 1.0 from 4k, 1hb in 53-point loss to the Magpies.

Game no. 29 for no. 29. Off injured early, and missed the next two matches. There was only 10 points in it at 3/4 time too.


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The coach papped while minding his own business.
 

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Game #28 – Round 15, 1991 vs Essendon at Western Oval (29/6/1991)

Kicked 1.1 from 11k, 6hb in 46-point win over the Bombers.

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Game #27 – Round 14, 1991 vs St Kilda at Moorrabbin Oval (22/6/1991)

Kicked 1.4 from 6k, 1hb in 33-point loss to the Saints.

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'91 til infinity.
 
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Game #26 – Round 13, 1991 vs West Coast at WACA (14/6/1991)

Kicked 1.1 from 8k, 4hb in 118-point loss to the Eagles.

Peter Sumich kicked 13 goals including 7 in the third quarter. Quite unnecessary.

 

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Game #25 – Round 12, 1991 vs Sydney at Western Oval (8/6/1991)

6k, 2hb in draw against the Swans. A thriller in the wet.

4.11 to 5.5 illustrates "the value of accurate kicking", as a certain seven-peat u15 flag-winning coach from my hometown used to say.

The Bulldogs' blushes were saved by Super "Steve" Macpherson in the dying seconds:

 

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Game #24 – Round 11, 1991 vs Carlton at Western Oval (2/6/1991)

Kicked 3.2 from 10k, 5hb in 41-point win over the Blues. Returning from injury, Granty was excellent at half-forward, forming a potent attacking combination with Galaxy "Glen" Coleman.

A folkloric game in Bulldogs history, with Carlton held goalless until Mark Arceri kicked one from a free kick in the final minute of the match. The Blues' paltry 1.10 (26) was their lowest score since 1904.

From The Age:

It was not so much that the Bulldogs relished the awful conditions, for only a duck could have enjoyed it, but that they used them to advantage. As usual the wind favoured the scoreboard end, which had the effect of dividing the contest into four distinct games, and Footscray won all four, kicking two goals in each Quarter.

Footscray was better at ground level and superior in the air. Its ball-handling was crisp as you could expect on such a filthy day. It kicked long with the wind and short into the breeze, following the time-honoured rules of playing at the Western Oval.

Footscray’s inspiration came from an impenetrable defence led by Steve Macpherson and Peter Foster, who did a fine job on Stephen Kernahan, and from its reliable midfielders Simon Atkins and Tony Liberatore.

Skipper Doug Hawkins played at the scoreboard end throughout, alternating as a forward and loose defender, and brilliantly at that.

Footscray also had Glen Coleman, who could scarcely have found himself in more adverse conditions — both in terms of weather and in his opponent for much of the day, Steve Silvagni. But Coleman mirrored Footscray’s response to the situation presented yesterday. He marked the slippery ball as though it were dry and scooped it up from the wet surface with one hand. It is difficult to believe there can be a more improved player in the competition.


Together with Chris Grant, who capped an excellent return from injury with three goals from half-forward, Coleman provided Footscray with the sort of attack that Carlton lacked. The names were there for the Blues — Steve Kernahan, Jon Dorotich and Simon Minton-Connell — but not the results.

Highlights from the game, filmed in Spoontvision, can be viewed here:

 
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Game #23 – Round 4, 1991 vs Fitzroy at Princes Park (13/4/1991)

3k, 1hb in 16-point win over the Lions. Off early with an injury that would sideline him for the next 6 games.

Interestingly, bottom-placed Fitzroy defeated the top-of-the-ladder Eagles in a bizarre game in the last round of 1991:

 

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Game #22 – Round 3, 1991 vs Geelong at Western Oval (7/4/1991)

Kicked 1.1 from 6k, 4hb in 49-point loss to the Cats.

In his second year, Granty entered the round as the 5th youngest player on an AFL list:

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Shout-out to S-Tull.
 

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Game #21 – Round 1, 1991 vs Collingwood at Waverley Park (24/3/1991)

Kicked 1.0 from 7k, 6hb in 70-point loss to the Magpies. What a way to start the year.

You can relive the season that was by watching That Was The Season That Was:

 

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Game #20 – Round 20, 1990 vs North Melbourne at Western Oval (18/8/1990)

Kicked 0.2 from 4k, 1hb in 27-point loss to the Kangaroos.

Grant's Year

Chris Grant was drafted as a 15-year old from Daylesford, after the Footscray Football Club selected him with pick #105 in the 1988 VFL draft.

Granty spent the 1989 season playing seniors for Daylesford in the Central Highlands Football League. He arrived at the club during the Bulldogs' merger crisis of 1989, against a backdrop of a club on its knees and within a whisker of being swallowed up by Fitzroy.

Wearing #29, Turtle made his senior debut in Round 1 of 1990, as a skinny 17 year old. "My first game was the first game after all the merger talks in 1990," he later recalled. "I could remember the passion from that day."

Undaunted by the prospect of playing against childhood hero Danny Frawley, Grant acquitted himself well in his first outing, kicking 2.3 and providing glimpses of the star he was to come. He kicked 3-4 goals in each of the next 6 matches before having a 'downer' in Round 8 against Essendon where he was held goalless. Turtle then bounced back in the best way possible, kicking 6 goals in Round 9 against Brisbane. The long season saw his form tail off late and he spent the last couple of rounds in the reserves.

Grant ended up kicking 51 goals in 1990, to be the leading goalkicker at the club and the youngest playing in VFL-AFL history to kick 50 goals in a season.

Pick #105 became a masterstroke as Granty went on to become one of the finest players of his era and indisputably one of the Bulldogs' greatest of all time (topped off by getting his own Retrospectus on Bigfooty).

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I told ya this kid can play.

Bulldogs Year

The Doggies had a respectable year after the calamities of 1989, finishing 7th on the ladder with 12 wins, 10 losses and 99.3%.

Inspirational midfielder Tony Liberatore won the Brownlow medal (and went on to terrorise opposition teams for years to come) and hardnosed CHB Peter Foster won the Charles Sutton Medal.
 

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Game #19 – Round 19, 1990 vs Fitzroy at Princes Park (11/8/1990)

Kicked 1.0 from 5k, 2hb in 35-point win over the Lions.

A shelter-shed of highlights, including a clever soccer goal from Granty, can be viewed here:

 

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Game #18 – Round 18, 1990 vs Carlton at Western Oval (5/8/1990)

Kicked 1.0 from 3k, 1hb in 29-point loss to the Blues.

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Game #17 – Round 17, 1990 vs Collingwood at MCG (29/7/1990)

Kicked 3.1 from 9k, 1hb in 3-point win over the Magpies.

Another folkloric Bulldogs game from this era. Footscray and Collingwood (the eventual premiers) were trading blows in a thrilling final quarter, when Billy "Steve" Kolyniuk audaciously baulked around Graham Wright on the mark to kick a beautiful running goal and give the Doggies the win and Footscray fans the highlight of their year. Bravo!

 

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Game #16 – Round 16, 1990 vs West Coast at WACA (20/7/1990)

Kicked 2.5 from 9k, 1hb in 43-point loss to the Eagles:

Not one but two vids on YouTube:



 

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Game #15 – Round 15, 1990 vs Sydney at Western Oval (14/7/1990)

Kicked 4.0 from 6k, 3hb in 16-point win over the Swans.

NSFW: 1990 season higlights presented by Ernie Sigley! Merry Chris-mas!

 
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Game #17 – Round 17, 1990 vs Collingwood at MCG (29/7/1990)

Kicked 3.1 from 9k, 1hb in 3-point win over the Magpies.

Another folkloric Bulldogs game from this era. Footscray and Collingwood (the eventual premiers) were trading blows in a thrilling final quarter, when Billy "Steve" Kolyniuk audaciously baulked around Graham Wright on the mark to kick a beautiful running goal and give the Doggies the win and Footscray fans the highlight of their year. Bravo!


Phew that was a thriller, gives me tingles even now. One of my most memorable games [I don't have a great memory of most]. When Billy ran around Graeme Wright it was Right In Front of Us [though we were at the top of the stand]. We went with our Pies supporting in laws and one of them left after that goal. Not a strong effort as we only won by a few points :)
 

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Game #14 – Round 14, 1990 vs St Kilda at Moorabbin (7/7/1990)

Kicked 3.0 from 9k, 4hb in 7-point win over the Saints.

Highlights preserved in amber, you could probably extract Rick Kennedy's DNA out of this clip:

 

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Game #13 – Round 13, 1990 vs Hawthorn at Waverley Park (30/6/1990)

One of our best, kicking 2.1 from 11k, 4hb in 18-point win over the Hawks.

Amazing that a team who was at the knackery gates in the off-season could topple the reigning premiers. But it's a funny game.

Highlights that cut off at a very frustrating moment(!):

 
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Game #12 – Round 12, 1990 vs Melbourne at Western Oval (17/6/1990)

2k, 2hb in 33-point loss to the Dees.

And yes, for all those who have been asking, this was Tim Harrington's final game.

 

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