Opinion The Dogs are the only 'local' club left in Melbourne

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PerthBoy86

Norm Smith Medallist
May 23, 2016
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I live in Footscray, and as anyone who lives in the Western suburbs knows, the Dogs and the western suburbs are inseparable. There are several permanent murals, paintings etc of the Bulldogs here. Today I was walking in central Footscray, as i often do, and going through West Footscray, Braybrook, Sunshine etc I lost count of all the Dogs posters, banners, paintings, decorations etc. They painted all the posts in Footscray white, red and blue. Nowhere else in Melbourne is the presence so strong. Also it just seems to me almost everyone I know who lives in Maribyrnong and Brimbank at least goes for the Dogs, though not all are necessarily big footy fans. It's almost like going for the Bulldogs goes hand in hand with representing the Western suburbs. On Saturday night after beating the Giants, people were going crazy in Footscray like they'd already won the GF.

I haven't found this to me the case regarding any of the other Melbourne clubs regarding this. Most of their supporters are relatively scattered, although supporters do tend to be more concentrated in some areas (I made a thread about this awhile back). St. Kilda, Melbourne and North are also small 'underdog' clubs now but going to St. Kilda or North Melbourne, there isn't quite the same feeling. Going to Richmond, Collingwood, Carlton, Hawthorn etc it's not quite the same. You do see signs here and there, but I don't get the feeling the majority of people who live their support those teams. In fact in Collingwood I don't get the impression most people care that much about footy, haha jk.

So in that sense the Western Bulldogs are still very much linked in a very real sense with Footscray and the West. Couldn't tell you the exact boundaries, if there are any, but Footscray down to Williamstown, probably out to St. Albans...the Maribyrnong River is probably the dividing line between Dogs and Dons/Roos territory. But in that sense they're more like Geelong, or the clubs in Perth and Adelaide. I feel with the other clubs they're too split up and supporters are too scattered to have any real meaningful connection with the suburb that bears their name.
 
You're definitely right about the Dogs being very 'local'. I grew up in Hawthorn and Canterbury in the 90s and early 2000s and I was (still am, to an extent) the only Dogs supporter I know.

Although, you can definitely make the argument that Melbourne and Hawthorn are 'local' given the amount of support they have in the inner-east. Same goes for St Kilda all the way down the bayside suburbs.
 

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I used to live in Chelsea, there was a lot of St Kilda and Hawthorn support in that area. I know Williamstown and Altona are now predominantly Bulldogs but in the past Being zoned to South Melbourne there was quite a bit of support for them, it has dropped off a fair bit since the Sydney move.
 
You're definitely right about the Dogs being very 'local'. I grew up in Hawthorn and Canterbury in the 90s and early 2000s and I was (still am, to an extent) the only Dogs supporter I know.

Although, you can definitely make the argument that Melbourne and Hawthorn are 'local' given the amount of support they have in the inner-east. Same goes for St Kilda all the way down the bayside suburbs.
Richmond FC still has a strong identity in and connection with Richmond. Agree with the OP though - the Western Bulldogs connection with Footscray and the inner western suburbs has been strong for 130 years and still lives on.
 
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The dogs are the team of the west. That is the Western Suburbs and beyond of Melbourne.

I recognise myself with the west and with the people who live here. This is my area, I grew up here, I loved growing up here, and the people who live here are my people.

When I was young I remember very well that people from the east would put crap on us people from the west, they regarded us all as thieves and thugs and this was the arseh*le of the world. We were the low-socioeconomic working class zone. Various unsavoury incidents and comments about our suburbs and the type of people who lived here had a significant effect on me. The Footscray Football club and later the Western Bulldogs was a focal point for showing solidarity.

There were those traitors among us who barracked for other teams and also deserters when times got tough but good on those who have stuck by us, good on you; you got something worth bottling. Go Dogs! Woof woof woof.
 
Having lived and worked the better part of the past two decades in Parkville and Carlton, I'm going to have to politely disagree that we are the only team with that connection (love the post though).

Have a walk down Lygon St next time Carlton are up and about, they are very much a local team with its roots here (despite the supporters moving out to other places as well).
 
My wife and I live in the northern suburbs but she was born and bred in Footscray & Sunshine, and is a Bulldog like her parents before her. When I came to Australia 7 years ago she told me 'you barrack for the Bulldogs' and I said 'yes, dear'. As usual, she was right. :)
 
I used to live in Chelsea

Im in Aspendale, Ant_ is in Edithvale. You'd be surprised these days how many in the red white and blue you see on trains game day this neck of the woods
 
The dogs are the team of the west. That is the Western Suburbs and beyond of Melbourne.

I recognise myself with the west and with the people who live here. This is my area, I grew up here, I loved growing up here, and the people who live here are my people.

When I was young I remember very well that people from the east would put crap on us people from the west, they regarded us all as thieves and thugs and this was the arseh*le of the world. We were the low-socioeconomic working class zone. Various unsavoury incidents and comments about our suburbs and the type of people who lived here had a significant effect on me. The Footscray Football club and later the Western Bulldogs was a focal point for showing solidarity.

There were those traitors among us who barracked for other teams and also deserters when times got tough but good on those who have stuck by us, good on you; you got something worth bottling. Go Dogs! Woof woof woof.

I'm a 'Westie' now, as much as a Melburnian, though I still consider myself a West Australian, and will never call myself a Victorian haha. Before I came to live here, I basically knew Footscray for the Bulldogs, a team I didn't think particularly much of as an Eagles supporter in Perth, the bad reputation it had, the Vietnamese community, and Romper Stomper lol. Having lived here for the best part of three years, I have come to call it home. Love the diversity, vibrancy, always a bit of drama going on at the mall, haha, rarely a day goes by without a blue, but it beats somewhere posh and sterile, though I do like to take trips to the East now and again.

Traitor is a bit strong of a word, but it's nice to see the amount of support in the inner west in general. I mean, I don't know how serious they are, but it's great to see old Vietnamese people, young Africans, and everyone else just getting into the spirit of it, not to say other clubs don't have a multicultural support base. Because the Western suburbs are so diverse though it's not surprising, and I feel things will grow more and more diverse as things go on. Kind of surprised the Dogs haven't had a Sudanese or African player, except for Johanassen who's from South Africa. There's Lin Jong too, and it would seem apt if the first Vietnamese player debuts for the Bulldogs lol. But yeah, always great seeing people in Bulldogs gear around town.
 
Having lived and worked the better part of the past two decades in Parkville and Carlton, I'm going to have to politely disagree that we are the only team with that connection (love the post though).

Have a walk down Lygon St next time Carlton are up and about, they are very much a local team with its roots here (despite the supporters moving out to other places as well).

Yes, I suppose Carlton's territory would be the northern suburbs in general, I think they'd still be the biggest team in places like Carlton itself (which has demographically changed a lot, it's gotten a lot more Asian with the students), the city of Moreland - Brunswick, Coburg.etc, Parkville, the central northern suburbs in general. I imagine somewhere like Broadmeadows would have a lot of Essendon and Carlton supporters, though I didn't grow up in Melbourne so assuming.

Collingwood supporters seem the most scattered...but then most clubs are based in the inner suburbs/around the CBD, so it's not like you can carve up the metro area like electoral divisions.

It seems though, living in the West is almost synonymous with following the Bulldogs, which is kind of cool. People talk about a north/south divide in Perth, which is for the most part fictional.
 
Yes, I suppose Carlton's territory would be the northern suburbs in general, I think they'd still be the biggest team in places like Carlton itself (which has demographically changed a lot, it's gotten a lot more Asian with the students), the city of Moreland - Brunswick, Coburg.etc, Parkville, the central northern suburbs in general. I imagine somewhere like Broadmeadows would have a lot of Essendon and Carlton supporters, though I didn't grow up in Melbourne so assuming.

Collingwood supporters seem the most scattered...but then most clubs are based in the inner suburbs/around the CBD, so it's not like you can carve up the metro area like electoral divisions.

It seems though, living in the West is almost synonymous with following the Bulldogs, which is kind of cool. People talk about a north/south divide in Perth, which is for the most part fictional.
West - Footscray, North West - Essendon, North - Collingwood, North East - Richmond, East - Hawthorn, South East - St. Kilda. Carlton fans are scattered everywhere and North Melb fans scattered usually throughout the north. Demons? ****ed if I know, never met a genuine Melbourne supporter. Just from my expereince growing up through school.
 
I live in Footscray, and as anyone who lives in the Western suburbs knows, the Dogs and the western suburbs are inseparable. There are several permanent murals, paintings etc of the Bulldogs here. Today I was walking in central Footscray, as i often do, and going through West Footscray, Braybrook, Sunshine etc I lost count of all the Dogs posters, banners, paintings, decorations etc. They painted all the posts in Footscray white, red and blue. Nowhere else in Melbourne is the presence so strong. Also it just seems to me almost everyone I know who lives in Maribyrnong and Brimbank at least goes for the Dogs, though not all are necessarily big footy fans. It's almost like going for the Bulldogs goes hand in hand with representing the Western suburbs. On Saturday night after beating the Giants, people were going crazy in Footscray like they'd already won the GF.

I haven't found this to me the case regarding any of the other Melbourne clubs regarding this. Most of their supporters are relatively scattered, although supporters do tend to be more concentrated in some areas (I made a thread about this awhile back). St. Kilda, Melbourne and North are also small 'underdog' clubs now but going to St. Kilda or North Melbourne, there isn't quite the same feeling. Going to Richmond, Collingwood, Carlton, Hawthorn etc it's not quite the same. You do see signs here and there, but I don't get the feeling the majority of people who live their support those teams. In fact in Collingwood I don't get the impression most people care that much about footy, haha jk.

So in that sense the Western Bulldogs are still very much linked in a very real sense with Footscray and the West. Couldn't tell you the exact boundaries, if there are any, but Footscray down to Williamstown, probably out to St. Albans...the Maribyrnong River is probably the dividing line between Dogs and Dons/Roos territory. But in that sense they're more like Geelong, or the clubs in Perth and Adelaide. I feel with the other clubs they're too split up and supporters are too scattered to have any real meaningful connection with the suburb that bears their name.
Hey mate, you are completely wrong on Richmond.... The highest amount of Richmond members of any suburb in VIC still live in Richmond

The whole suburb pretty much supports the RFC and there's RFC all over the place.

We (like the doggies) have never left the suburb and that is why imo
 

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Im in Aspendale, Ant_ is in Edithvale. You'd be surprised these days how many in the red white and blue you see on trains game day this neck of the woods
ha, I lived in Chelsea for a while only recently moved from there, before that was in Murrumbeena, I want to move out west just for the novelty of being a Dogs supporter and the majority of them around there go for the Dogs it's pretty rare to catch a Dogs supporter around these areas.
 
Im in Aspendale, Ant_ is in Edithvale. You'd be surprised these days how many in the red white and blue you see on trains game day this neck of the woods
I was there in 71-72. Leigh Matthews used to live near Chelsea Primary School, he always used to toot as he drove past in a Ute in Hawthorn colours. I think it was a Hawthorn sponsor he worked for. St Kilda and Hawthorn were strong clubs back then and maybe the kids jumped on bandwagon
Hopefully this GF will have kids jumping on our bandwagon.
 
I was there in 71-72. Leigh Matthews used to live near Chelsea Primary School, he always used to toot as he drove past in a Ute in Hawthorn colours. I think it was a Hawthorn sponsor he worked for. St Kilda and Hawthorn were strong clubs back then and maybe the kids jumped on bandwagon
Hopefully this GF will have kids jumping on our bandwagon.

Rex Hunt's daughter lives close by, Ive seen him around visiting. By the way - Bailey Dale played footy for Edi-Aspi
 
Building in Ballarat too fellas, Doggies colors on display out the front of houses, scarves in cars, kids wearing Guernseys. What a time to be alive!!
 
I watched the Year of the dogs again last night on youtube, one of my favourite footy docos and you could see that all along the dogs are the heart and soul of Footscray. They are the only true blue suburban team remaining.
I wonder if Pat Hodgson is still alive to see her dogs in the AFL GF this weekend?
 
West - Footscray, North West - Essendon, North - Collingwood, North East - Richmond, East - Hawthorn, South East - St. Kilda. Carlton fans are scattered everywhere and North Melb fans scattered usually throughout the north. Demons? stuffed if I know, never met a genuine Melbourne supporter. Just from my expereince growing up through school.

I get the feeling Carlton fans than Collingwood are more localised, though both are pretty scattered.
 
Hey mate, you are completely wrong on Richmond.... The highest amount of Richmond members of any suburb in VIC still live in Richmond

The whole suburb pretty much supports the RFC and there's RFC all over the place.

We (like the doggies) have never left the suburb and that is why imo

Okay, I stand corrected then. I guess it seems the most hipster and/or multicultural a place gets, the less they seem to care about footy, but that may be a faulty assumption.
 
I watched the Year of the dogs again last night on youtube, one of my favourite footy docos and you could see that all along the dogs are the heart and soul of Footscray. They are the only true blue suburban team remaining.
I wonder if Pat Hodgson is still alive to see her dogs in the AFL GF this weekend?

I'm assuming the daughter will definitely be there! Someone should get in contact with her, do an interview '20 years on', just to hear her thoughts and feelings etc.
 
Building in Ballarat too fellas, Doggies colors on display out the front of houses, scarves in cars, kids wearing Guernseys. What a time to be alive!!

That's pretty cool to here. Isn't Ballarat part of the Geelong recruiting 'region'?
 

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