Great weekend for sentimental favourites! Bulldogs and Sharkies!

I wanted them both to win and they both did! I had no money on it though…

There’s lots to love about AFL Grand Finals winners the Western Bulldogs who broke a 62 year drought to defeat the Sydney Swans last Saturday.

They had the former PM Julia Gillard on side of course.

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But how great to see Footscray, Bulldogs territory, up there as it represents just about everything the Revenant of Oz and the barking mad “Patriots” don’t get. Look at this wonderful photo site The Mean Streets of Footscray:

footscray-multiculture

And study this ABC feature Footscray: melting pot turned hipster hotspot for more wonderful photos and comments.

I come here 40 years ago. Before, there were many European people in Footscray, but now, not much. Everything a little bit different. It has changed, for the better.

Nick Tsiligiris

Read Western Bulldogs embrace multicultural fan base in lead-up to grand final.

…Bulldogs supporter Samar Ageed and her family arrived in Australia in 2006 as refugees from Iraq.

Today she took the morning off work to take her nephews, niece and mother to the last Bulldogs training session before Saturday’s grand final.

“I am a big fan,” she said. “In Iraq we don’t have footy, we have only soccer. But I’m into it because it makes me feel a sense of belonging, and the sense of community and how you can engage and interact with other Aussie fellow supporters.”

Ms Ageed was introduced to the game through her work as a refugee case worker.

The Western Bulldogs run a program to help integrate refugees, asylum seekers and other new migrants…

James Machar, 20, arrived from South Sudan three years ago as a refugee, and settled in the western suburb of Wyndham Vale.

He has been on camping trips and excursions into the city with the Bulldogs and says the experiences have helped him make friends, learn English and understand Australia better.

“I really love the Bulldogs,” he said. “I never miss a game on TV. I lose my voice cheering for them, and I like them because they are helping young refugees a lot.”..

Bravo Bulldogs!

And then of course my own home town came good at last on Sunday. In their fiftieth season!

The porch light of Cronulla supporters may soon be switched off forever (search ‘Jack Gibson and Harold Holt’ if you are unsure what this means), as the Sharks again eye off what would be a drought-breaking rugby league premiership.

There have been grand final appearances — including a midweek replay — and minor premierships that have given diehard Sharks fans hope but ultimately left them crestfallen since their entry into first grade in 1967, although there is renewed optimism ahead of Sunday’s clash with Melbourne.

Grandstand takes a look at some of the heartbreaking moments in grand finals and play-offs endured by the men from the Shire… (Read more at the link above.)

See my post Go the Sharkies!

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