The wait is over

October 05, 2016

The Western Bulldogs won the 2016 AFL grand final.

As a passionate football fan it would be wrong of me not to write about the end of the AFL season.

And as an even more passionate Western Bulldogs supporter this article could’ve gone one of two ways.

Thankfully for me, and every other non-Sydney fan, the result could not have been any sweeter.

Whether you followed either of the teams or not — no one can negate the quality of football demonstrated by both sides in the grand final game.

The victory was anyone’s for the taking with barely one straight kick separating the scores.

The break away goal came in the final three minutes off the boot of Liam Picken and another followed shortly after to seal the deal.

A higher power was looking down on the sons of the mighty West when they took on Sydney Swans for the flag.

I’d like to think that higher power was partly ‘Mr Football’ himself, Ted Whitten, as the newest generation of Bulldogs carried on the torch from the 1954 premiership.

He was undeniably one of the best players in the league and his famous speech rang out through the television ahead of the first bounce.

‘‘I want you to INSPIRE me.’’

That’s what Teddy said in his dressing gown at three quarter time to the players in his last game.

And that’s exactly what the Bulldogs did for the millions of football fans and more importantly the supporters who’d been waiting for this day.

Sixty-two years is a long time between premierships, and some supporters had waited their whole lives to see them hold up the cup.

My dad has seen four of his children brought into this world and not once did he cry.

Not many things are more miraculous than the creation of life.

But tears were streaming down the face of the hardened dairy farmer when the Bulldogs won the AFL grand final on Saturday.

Never have I seen 22 players want to win more.

And never before had I seen my father cry – until that moment when the final siren sounded and the Dogs had become premiers for 2016.

And I can guarantee there wasn’t a dry eye when coach Luke Beveridge took off his own medal to award it to injured captain Robert Murphy during his post-game speech.

Moments like those are what make footy the great game it is.

When football fans from all colours band together to see another team make it over the line after struggling for years.

To have grown men on and off the field cry tears of joy for the satisfaction of winning what every footballer dedicates their entire careers towards.

And to do it all from finishing seventh spot on the ladder makes the feat even more remarkable.

The Dogs fought it out to the end and reaped the rewards.

It’s time to soak up the glory because who knows how long away the next premiership will be – let’s hope sooner than another 62 years.

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