Based in West Footscray, an inner western suburb of Melbourne, the Footscray Football Club are far more commonly known as the Western Bulldogs although that is their official name. Established in 1883 the Bulldogs are regarded as one of the least successful sides of the modern era, however with its change towards a more attacking form has seen the clubs popularity soar.
Western Bulldogs Information
Home Ground: Etihad Stadium
Colours: Red, White And Blue
Mascot: Sid & Woofer
Number Of Premierships Won: One (1954)
Number Of Minor Premierships Won: None
Footscray joined the VFL (Victorian Football League) in 1925 along with Hawthorn and North Melbourne, although was a relatively late move compared to already established clubs. Having won nine premierships in the VFA (Victorian Football Association) between 1898 and 1924, the VFL brought about a change in results despite a strong start and in 1928 they were already a part of the finals. The 1930’s and 1940’s were years were the Bulldogs established themselves as a solid unit in Australian football, reaching the final in 1938 as the first side from the three to join the VFL in 1925 to do so.
The 1950’s was a stressful time for Bulldogs fans as the team would consistently make it to the finals, but could not perform. In 1951 Footscray became the youngest side to reach the VFL finals although were dealt defeat by Essendon ending their opportunity of a win in the finals. In 1954 the team broke their jinx and beat Melbourne in the Grand Final to win their only premier title, with many thanks going to Ted Whitten Snr, also known as E.J. – one of the sport’s best ever players. However saw 1959 deliver them with their first wooden spoon, which was a common theme from 1965 through to 1969.
The 1970’s were another disappointing decade as they saw off legendary Whitten in his 321st game, although the Bulldogs set a record in 1978 when they kicked a final score of 33.15(213) against the Saints with Kelvin Templeton booting 15.9 beating the previous record by five goals.
The 1980’s brought about a change in personnel, and with the appointment of coach Mick Malthouse the side rose up the ladder and boasted one of the greatest squads in the sport. The 1985 season saw the Western Bulldogs finish second on the ladder – their best result to date, resulting in a double chance in the finals, although lost to Hawthorn in the preliminary finals that year.
The late eighties were a troublesome period with financial strain evident at the club. In 1989 President Nick Columb began to establish connections with other struggling clubs to set up a possible merger, however a campaign was set up called ‘Save The Dogs’ which raised enough money to maintain the club epitomising just how much the Bulldogs are loved by their dedicated fans. In the 1990’s the Dogs were regular faces in the finals, losing out to the Cats in the preliminary final in 1992 and were regularly finishing in the top half of the ladder. Once again the Bulldogs were forced to consider a merger in 1995, with the Brisbane Lions the possible candidates but with businessmen David Smorgon and Alan Johnstone secure the clubs future.
The New Millennium saw a slump in form, with players such as Scott Wynd and Tony Liberatroe farewelled and coach Terry Wallace retired and so Peter Rohde took the reins and saw the end of the 2002 slowly improve. The following year however saw a dramatic slump in form with injuries leading to the Bulldogs winning the wooden spoon after a dismal effort of three wins and a draw.
Over the past couple of years the Western Bulldogs have managed to overcome criticism to outdo expectations and have started to tout themselves as finals contenders once again.
Emblem, Colours & Guernsey
The Western Bulldogs’ emblem is of an oval-shape, and split into a red top with a blue bottom with a predominant white outline of a bulldog in profile view, and ‘Western Bulldogs’ written below in red.
The blue, white and red colours of the emblem are synonymous with the Western Bulldogs and are reflected in the team’s guernseys. The home jumper is predominantly royal blue with a red and white hoop featuring the bulldog from the clubs logo on the front. The clash jumper is mainly white, with a red and blue hoop around the chest while a white bulldog logo is on the front.
The Western Bulldogs are a lucky, lucky side as they have two mascots! One is real – his name is ‘Sid’ and he is a young all-white British Bulldog who attends every home match at the Etihad Stadium. The second is Woofer ‘Dogg’ Whitten and he is named after the renowned former Bulldogs player and personality Ted Whitten.
Best Bet To Make
When it comes to punting on the Western Bulldogs, check out the time of day of the fixtures – as when it comes to day time games they are almost a cert to win, but are more vulnerable when it comes to night games, so keep that in mind when heading to Ladbrokes.com.au. Another strong market to take advantage of with the Bulldogs is the winning margin, as they have the second highest average winning margin in the league, bettered only by Geelong. So if you want to put all this information into practice, check out our AFL Tipping page before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to make sure you spend your money wisely!