Upon moving to Melbourne about three decades ago, I was quite taken with Australian football – this strange game adored by millions but played only, or mostly, in a single country … and a single city (mostly) at that.
As I established a new life for myself, and being as I knew few people, it was not unusual for me to attend three VFL/AFL games a weekend – imagine the cost of doing that these days!
I never got serious about barracking for any particular team, but usually went for the underdogs in any given game.
All that was long enough ago that I actually made it to some of the old-school suburban grounds – in fact, IIRC, I may have actually attended the final ever seniors game at the Western Oval.
So I am really quite excited to front up for the return of Footscray – in the form of the Western Bulldogs’ stand-alone VFL side – to the Western/Whitten Oval.
Marley and her family, Maddie, Ruby and Rory.
Even if I have reverted to other football codes in terms of my active sports interests.
I arrive in time for the start of the second quarter, end up staying to the final siren and have a ball.
There’s gratifyingly big crowd on hand, kids and families and dogs everywhere – none of whom have had to pay for their suburban footy fix.
It being after breakfast but too early for lunch, I’d envisaged grabbing a coffee from the Bulldog HQ eatery The Pound …
… but the queue nixes that idea right off.
However, I am delighted to find that among the array of eats being provided at the train-line end of the ground are Remi and his super-gorgeous Airstream Happy Camper Pizza van.
Too early for lunch? Nah, time to try a whole Happy Camper Pizza for the first time ever!
My $12 margherita is perfection in every way – hot, fresh, excellent ingredients in just the right proportions and very, very tasty!
There are old-school footy traditions going on everywhere, including kids and balls and dads on the ground at half-time and anyone with an interest taking in the three-quarter-time huddle.
Also met but unphotographed is Dugald Jellie, whose report on the occasion can be seen here.
I understand there are about five more VFL home games for Footscray this season – it’s a CTS recommended activity!
(BTW, Footscray thrashed Richmond …)