The Cootamundra Bulldogs have finished bottom of the Group Nine ladder but players and fans alike should hold their heads high after continually fronting up and giving their all during a torrid 2017 season
Early hopes for a blue-and-white resurgence in the first grade were crushed a season-ending injury to captain-coach Warren Lloyd, putting the talented but inexperienced Bulldogs on the back foot right from Round One.
However, that didn’t stop the Dogs from snaring two massive upsets, first in Round Nine against Kangaroos Wagga in a 28-26 classic at Fisher Park, before a gritty 18-12 victory over Junee at Laurie Daley Oval.
In a season of ‘what could have been’, the Coota boys were unlucky to miss out in an 18-all draw with Tumbarumba and came within inches of a historic boilover against Young in Round Eight, pushing the finals-bound Cherrypickers in a thrilling 36-24 contest.
A final flourish from the Bulldogs reserve grade side was another heartwarming moment from the season, with the team downing Tumut 17-10 for their maiden win in 2017.
Their tenacity, along with the continuing success of the U16 Bulldogs side, should go hand-in-hand with the arrival of recent signing and 2018 captain-coach Glen Buttriss as the club looks to the future.