Tigers’ fans are roar­ing

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY SHANE DOUTHIE sd­outhie@ne­me­dia.com.au

THE Dodgshun fam­ily of Wan­garatta would be sim­i­lar to ev­ery other Tiger clan in the coun­try.

The pas­sion and com­mit­ment started with one (Scott), be­fore it spread through the grow­ing house­hold, in­fect­ing first Scott’s young wife Kath (a former Hawthorn sup­porter who missed out on her orig­i­nal club’s glory days be­cause of her de­vo­tion to her hus­band) and then, per­haps the sad­dest of all, the two young sons – first Har­vey, then Xavier.

“I re­mem­ber my first Rich­mond jumper back when I was about 6 or 7 had num­ber 10 on it (Kevin Sheedy),” Scott rem­i­nisced.

“It was later re­placed by the num­ber eight, Michael Roach.

“I don’t have any mem­ory of the pre­mier­ships in 1973 and 74 but I re­mem­ber the 1980 grand fi­nal pretty clearly and go­ing out into the street af­ter the game to kick my footy and pre­tend to be Kevin Bartlett.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s been a tough time for Tiger sup­port­ers since – long pe­ri­ods of in­sta­bil­ity and in­fight­ing, the choice to draft Richard Tam­bling when Buddy Franklin was avail­able, the per- en­nial jokes about fin­ish­ing 9th.

“It’s great that the boys are get­ting to ex­pe­ri­ence the resur­gence of the Tigers with re­cent fi­nals cam­paigns, although un­suc­cess­ful, and now a re­turn to the last day in Septem­ber and a chance to add an­other premier­ship.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence last week at the MCG with the mighty Tiger Army out in force is one I hope they are not too young to re­mem­ber when they get to my age.”

Scott said although he was ex­cited there was also a level of calm about the im­pend­ing Satur­day.

“Although I’m sure the nerves will start to kick in around Fri­day,” he said.

“I think lots of Rich­mond sup­port­ers would, in all hon­esty, never have ex­pected us to be in this po­si­tion at the start of the year.

“Ade­laide has clearly been the best team all year, have played two out­stand­ing fi­nals and have some ab­so­lute stars in Ed­die Betts, Rory Sloane and Tex Walker but I think the Tigers’ lead­ers in Cotchin, Riewoldt and Rance have grown and are lead­ing in an out­stand­ing man­ner, and Dusty, well, he was just made for this mo­ment.”

Scott’s pre­dic­tion: “Tigers by 13 points and Trent Cotchin to win the Norm Smith Medal.”

As far as his sons go, it seems he needs to work on at least Har­vey’s sin­gle eyed view of the game.

“It’ll be close,” he thought­fully pre­dicted.

But the youngest Tiger cub of all Xavier was less cir­cum­spect – “Rich­mond by lots, 160 points,” he said.

Of course, if the un­think­able hap­pens and the Crows tri­umph Kath will be there to pick up the pieces, no doubt think­ing of the great Hawk three­p­eat and what might have been.

DIS­CLO­SURE: Shane Douthie is a life­long Gee­long sup­porter and har­bours no ill will to­wards the Rich­mond Foot­ball Club de­spite the Cats not be­ing al­lowed to ex­er­cise their right to host the qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal be­tween the two clubs.

PHOTO: Emma Hil­lier

THE CLAWS ARE OUT: Young Tiger fans Har­vey and Xavier Dodgshun are con­fi­dent they will be din­ing on some crows this Satur­day af­ter­noon when Rich­mond takes on Ade­laide for the 2017 AFL Premier­ship Cup.

WE’RE STRONG AND WE’RE BOLD: Ra­bid Tiger fans Xavier, Scott and Har­vey Dodgshun cel­e­brate the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal win over the Gi­ants at the MCG last week­end.

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