Year of the Dogs

Year of the Dogs

name = Year of the Dogs

director = Michael Cordell, Stewart Young
producer = Michael Cordell,
Chris Hilton
writer = documentary
starring = Alan Joyce
Tony Liberatore
Stephen Wallis
Terry Wallace
Chris Grant
Pat Hodgson
Jenny Hodgson
Peter Gordon
distributor =
released = 1997 (Australia)
country = flagicon|Australia Australia
runtime = 86 min
language = English
imdb_id = 0133282
budget =

"Year of the Dogs" is a 1997 documentary detailing the 1996 season of the Footscray Football Club (now Western Bulldogs).

Filmed during the turbulent 1996 season where they finished second-last (15th) in the Australian Football League, the documentary follows the club and two dedicated fans, Pat and Jenny Hogson. The Bulldogs have a horror run of losses, forcing senior coach Alan Joyce to resign mid-season, replaced by Terry Wallace. The Dogs continue to struggle under this change in coaching administration, and continue to lose game after game.

With a thin supporter base, the club is under numerous financial difficulties. The AFL CEO Ross Oakley is insistent that smaller AFL clubs must merge and the Dogs are under pressure to amalgamate with other clubs. After the Melbourne Hawks merger failure, the club's members vote strongly against any proposed merger. In the end a taskforce of businessmen and former players take over the club to ensure its future. The club president (Peter Gordon) resigns.

In addition to this, youngest player (Shaun Baxter) is fighting cancer and the club veteran Steven Wallis' playing days are numbered.

For the last game for the season, Footscray play Essendon. Wanting to give their retiring player, Wallis a good send off, they play hard and put up a good performance, but end up losing narrowly in a closely played game.

For the next season, the Bulldogs are named Western Bulldogs, (a name they still carry to this day) in an effort to attract new members. The film showcases the club's battling spirit, and as an aside they escape a merger (although the Fitzroy Lions were the club that did suffer that fate). After Wallace's performance as caretaker, he is signed on for the 1997 season.


*It was filmed in 1996 and released theatrically in 1997, ironically when the Bulldogs were having one of their best seasons and later narrowly missed making the Grand Final.
*The film won an AFI award for "Best Editing in a Non-Feature Film" (Stewart Young).

ee also

*Australian rules football
*Western Bulldogs

External links

*imdb title | id=0133282 | title=Year Of The Dogs
* [ Review on MichaelDVD]
* [;adv=yes;group=;groupequals=;holdingType=;page=0;parentid=;query=Number%3A327455;querytype=;rec=0;resCount=10 Year of the Dogs at the National Film and Sound Archive]

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