Western Bulldogs

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The Western Bulldogs (the trading name of the Footscray Football Club) are an Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League (AFL). The club is based at the Whitten Oval in West Footscray, an inner-western suburb of Melbourne. The club draws its supporter base from this traditionally working class area and plays its home matches at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne Docklands, also in the city's inner-west.

Founded in 1883, the club won 9 premierships in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) between 1898 and 1924. Since joining the then Victorian Football League (VFL), the predecessor to the AFL, in 1925, the club has been one of the League's least successful, both in terms of on-field success – its only VFL/AFL Premiership coming in 1954 – and off-field resources. However, in recent years, the club has taken significant steps to eliminate this stigma, achieving stable sponsorship and consistently strengthening membership figures (34,842 members in 2010).[1]:732 The Whitten Oval has undergone a AU$30 million redevelopment[2] – set to make its headquarters and training facility among the best in the league.

In recent seasons, the club has been finding increasing popularity within the football community for its highly skilful and attacking style of play – a style that saw it reach the semi-finals in 2006 and the preliminary finals in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2010, the club won the AFL pre-season competition, the NAB Cup,[3] and was again regarded as among the favourites to win the AFL Premiership.[4]

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