Being a Member of the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs means so much more to most people than just following the action on the field. I’m regularly inspired by the way this Club brings families together, the way it inspires lifelong friendships, by the happiness it brings people and the sense of community it fosters. We’ve commissioned one of our Members, Anna Barwell, to tell some of your stories in the hope that you can all share the sort of pride I feel in being a Member of the Bulldogs. We’d love to know more about why the Bulldogs are such an important part of your life. Submit your own story to http://membership.thebulldogs.com.au/ or contact 02 9789 8000 if you’d like Anna to write it for you. We look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Raelene Castle CEO “2008 was the toughest year. It was terrible. But Andrew Ryan still came over to us and thanked us for our support. “We’ve always stuck by the players.” When people think of football teams, they think of the players. They think of the 17 man squad that takes the field. But behind every team is its supporter squad – the Members who pledge their support, passion and commitment to see their team and club prosper. The Bulldogs have another squad. ‘The Dog Squad’. Formed in 2000, “The Ladies” as they’re otherwise known, attend every game. Yes. Every single game. From Belmore to Auckland and everywhere in between, you’ll see ‘The Dog Squad’ shake their pom poms and cheer their boys on. Dog Squad and proud Bulldogs member Shirley Hudson is one of the original members. It all started on an away trip to Melbourne in 2000. 14 years later it has brought a marriage, two grandkids, shared ice creams with favourite players, a missed Mother’s Day and so much more. “There are just so many stories. Last year we flew out of Wellington first thing in the morning but because it was foggy in Sydney we couldn’t land. The NYC team and the big boys were on our plane. We ended up in Melbourne. “Everyone had Mother’s Day plans. All of the players and us. We ended up getting into Sydney at 1.30pm. We were all so frustrated!” The players know ‘The Dog Squad’ well. Often staying at the same hotels and travelling on the same flights, ‘The Dog Squad’ have become synonymous with away games. “Some of them see us and joke ‘oh no, not you again!’ Some of the new boys are wary at first but once Mick tells them who we are they’re fine. Mick’s such a lovely man. They’re all so lovely.” Shirley started following the Bulldogs in the early 80’s. Her love for the blue and white led her to sign up as a member and she hasn’t looked back since. “I love my seat and love knowing I always have the same seat and the people around me.” Shirley’s membership helped her meet her “second family”, the Dog Squad, but more importantly it helped her own family grow. At the same Melbourne game in 2000 ‘The Dogs Squad’ first attended together, Shirley’s then 17 year old son met a beautiful 15 year old girl. Today they are husband and wife. And yes, they’re both Bulldogs members. And so are their children – Mikyah and baby Khloe, born just a few days ago. “I have a family membership now. They’re all Bulldogs!” Shirley’s Bulldogs passion has seen her volunteer for the club by helping out in the office over the years. Her dedication to the blue and white has become her life. Just ask her friends and family, who now have to plan events around games. “They used to plan things and if it was game day I’d say I couldn’t go. Now they come and ask me what the Bulldogs schedule is and plan things on different days.” Over the years Shirley has just about seen it all. From the highs of Grand Final wins, to the lows of struggling teams, lost players and harsh penalties. And throughout it all her Bulldogs passion has remained. Shirley will forever pledge her dedication to the blue and white as a member. “I’m a Bulldog ‘til the day I die. I’ll always be there for them.” Like Shirley, we want you on our team. Become a Bulldogs Member from less than $7.50 per month for Adults and $6 per month for Juniors. Members receive 15% discount on merchandise* through the Club, a Member benefit pack, exclusive events and much more. Online: http://www.bulldogs.com.au/membership Phone: 02 9789 8000