Brown Keen to Depart a Winner
'Proud to be a Bulldog' is more than just Canterbury-Bankstown’s official hashtag used throughout their social media channels.
Quite frankly, it’s a way of life and a mantra Bulldogs winger Mitch Brown certainly buys into.
It’s hard not to, especially when you're approaching a moment every rugby league player dreams of – a maiden NRL grand final appearance.
Brown, who has previously plied his trade at the Sharks and the Wests Tigers, spoke with passion when quizzed about the club's slogan.
"I'm sure if you go through Belmore this week you'll see how proud everyone is to be a Bulldog," Brown told NRL.com.
"I've been at a few clubs now and the Bulldogs supporters are so passionate and they just love you and they'll pull you up in the street whenever to talk. I'm certainly proud to be a Bulldog."
It is why Brown wants to depart the club a winner.
To give Bulldogs fans a bite at premiership glory last tasted a decade ago.
His teammates had a shot at it in 2012, and while they didn't get the chocolates on that occasion, it was a chance the Gymea Gorillas junior wasn't even afforded.
Brown picked up a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury before he could step out in first grade for the club upon joining them that year.
It's something he is set to make amends for on Sunday.
"The whole knee injury sucked. You're proud of the boys no matter what but just to be a part of it now makes it all worthwhile," Brown said.
"Anyone who has done their knee... remains a bit worried about it all and it stays in the back of your head but when you get to points of your career like this it allows you to definitely play with more confidence."
With Brown set to return to the Shire for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, the 126-game veteran remained focused on the present, crediting coach Des Hasler and the club for giving him the chance to play NRL football on a weekly basis.
"I think I've played my most consistent football at the Bulldogs," Brown said.
"It is such a professional organisation and such a family-orientated club. Everyone is tightly knit.
"Des is a supercoach. He is a completely different person he portrays to the media. I've learned a lot under him and I have so much respect for him."
It isn't goodbye to his Bulldogs brothers though. There are positives to leaving with half the club living thereabouts in Cronulla anyway.
"I'll probably see them at Cronulla Mall just as much to be honest," Brown said. "Us blokes at the Dogs run into the Sharks players all the time."
This article first appeared on NRL.com