Tigers’ fans are roaring
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.
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.