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  1. #1
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    Interview with Andrew Purser

    Andrew Purser, 1983-1987, 112 games & 16 goals
    Best & Fairest 1984





    TCD: Hi Andrew & welcome to WOOF.

    AP: You’re welcome & thank you for inviting me.

    Where did you grow up?

    We lived on a farm in a little town called Mogumber, which is 140 km’s north of Perth. Basically all there was there was a pub, a railway station & a native mission where young aboriginal children were relocated.

    There were about 100 kids that attended the local school & about 80 of them were from the mission. We used to play footy at lunchtime & afterschool. Gee those kids were good & just so quick.


    When did you move to Perth?

    I attended boarding school at Swanleigh, so I moved there when I commenced High School.

    Who did you play for in the WAFL?

    It was strange, but because of where I grew up, I was zoned to East Fremantle, even tho I really knew very little of the club as I was from the other side of Perth.

    Who did you barrack for as a kid?

    I supported Swan Districts in the WAFL & in the VFL many West Australian’s had a soft spot for North Melbourne as many former WA players such as Barry Cable went to the Kangaroos.

    So how did you become a Bulldog?

    Prior to the draft we see now, there was an earlier version that commenced in 1981. At the end of 1982 Footscray, who had finished last drafted me with the first selection.

    Was that a surprise?

    Yes, it was expected that Gary Shaw, an onballer from Claremont was going to be the number 1 pick, but he slipped to number 3 where Collingwood secured him. There was speculation that Collingwood had paid a significant financial inducement to both Footscray & St.Kilda to overlook him.

    Do you remember your fist game with Footscray?

    Yes, it was against Geelong at VFL Park. There were a heap of us that made our debuts that day. We lost by 5 goals.

    You won the Charles Sutton Medal in 1984, was that a surprise?

    It was strange. Doug Hawkins was the favourite & he had a huge entourage there that night. I won by one vote & you could have heard a pin drop!

    How did you get the nickname ‘Polly’?

    When I was at East Fremantle, Tony Buhagiar joked one night that I was our next Polly Farmer. It just stuck from there.

    It was a real surprise when you retired at the end of 1987. You were only 29 years old. What prompted that decision?

    I was a stockbroker & the market crashed in October 1987. That coupled with the wear & tear on the body after 5 years of having these giants jump all over & into me. My batteries had run flat too & I spoke with my wife & we decided to return to Perth.

    Was Mick Malthouse happy with that decision?

    No, but he accepted my reasoning. I wanted to go out while I was on top.

    Did you play again when you returned to Perth?

    I was talked into it by Bruce Monteath at West Perth & had a run pre season, but East Fremantle wouldn’t clear me, unless a sizeable fee was exchanged. I thought it easier all round if I just hung up the boots.


    Earlier you mentioned being jumped into. Who were some of the better ruckman you played against?

    There were so many back then, for example, if you played Essendon Sheedy threw Simon Madden at you, then Paul Salmon & then Roger Merrett. Mark Lee at Richmond was tough & physical & Peter Moore was up & about as well as John Mossop at Geelong, Justin Madden at Carlton & Matt Rendell at Fitzroy. I hated playing St.Kilda as they had 2 nutcases in Jeff Sarau & Wow Jones who'd rather a fight than a feed & they were into all day, mad buggers they were!

    What about some of your team mates?

    • Doug Hawkins – An outstanding player, his body work one on one was just terrific. We had a set play where Rick would kick out from full back to Doug & you just knew he’d get the ball. His one handed pick ups off wet & heavy grounds too were a delight.
    • Rick Kennedy – A strong leader & a great influence at the club. Tough & uncompromising.
    • Brian Royal – Just had the knack of where to go to get the ball & kick a goal.
    • Tony McGuinness – Very skillful & had a lovely long raking left foot kick.
    • Simon Beasley – A great focal point & he often kicked really difficult goals. Kicked big bags on occasions too.
    • Jim Edmond – Jock was a great character & a terrific leader. It’s a shame he went to Sydney in 1986.
    • Peter Foster – A fantastic centre half back who made his opponents work for every kick.


    Who was the Bulldog’s ruck coach during your time at the club?

    Sam Newman. He was fantastic, but very injury prone too. He modelled his style on Polly Farmer.

    Did he use videos back then?

    Yes, but nowhere near as sophisticated as we see today. He used to get Fred Cook to edit some tapes & just put highlights together.

    Sounds like a recipe for disaster, if any of the rumours about Cookie’s videos are true.

    Funny you should say that. One day my wife’s parents were over & Sam rocked up large as life & said to my in-laws, I’ve got a tape of some of Andrew’s highlights & he wacked the video into the machine.

    Unfortunately it was one of Freddie’s blue movies featuring him going at it hammer & tongs. Poor Sam just couldn't find the stop button on the remote. He became extremely embarrassed & beat a hasty retreat.


    Do you still have an interest in football?

    Yes, I still follow the Bulldogs. That created a few concerns at one stage. Mick asked me to be the Eagles ruck coach from 1992-1994. I made it very clear to Mick that my loyalty was to Footscray & I wouldn’t help out when the Eagles & the Bulldogs played one another. No way was I going to work against the club I had spilt blood for! Mick was OK with that.

    Do your children barrack for the Bulldogs?

    Unfortunately no, my Mother in Law corrupted them when the Eagles were the only team in town.

    How old are they?

    Ben is 18, he is a very good basketballer & is hoping to get a scholarship to a University in America to further his basketball & Emma is 14.

    Do you get to Bulldogs games in Perth?

    When I can, tho it’s hard as they often schedule games on a Sunday afternoon, which is usually the time I’m watching my son play basketball.

    Funny, one game a while back my wife & I were with Ben at the entrance to the Bulldogs rooms. Libba came out & walked up to my wife & started chatting with her. Ben was incredulous! Do you really know him Mum? This was when Libba was public enemy number 1 after really giving it Ben Cousins one day.


    Thank you so much for your time Andrew.

    That’s fine, glad to help & good luck with your website.

  2. #2
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    As usual TCD top standard.


    Loved watching Polly
    I bleed Red,White & Blue

  3. #3
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    Do you still have an interest in football?

    Yes, I still follow the Bulldogs. That created a few concerns at one stage. Mick asked me to be the Eagles ruck coach from 1992-1994. I made it very clear to Mick that my loyalty was to Footscray & I wouldn’t help out when the Eagles & the Bulldogs played one another. No way was I going to work against the club I had spilt blood for! Mick was OK with that.


    How's the loyalty? Great player & a great man.

    You've done it again, TCD.

  4. #4
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    I remember his debut at VFL Park along with another 9 interstate players from WA and SA. 1985, Purser was the man that really fired us up in the centre and around the ground and helped us get into the preliminary final. He wasn't very tall but was a smart ruckman and Hudson reminds me of him, ie the way he plays. Those days the ruckman was more vital around the ground than these days and Purser was great taking marks every where. I always felt he had leadership qualities when he played, as he really lead by example.

  5. #5
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    Quote Originally Posted by The Coon Dog View Post
    So how did you become a Bulldog?

    Prior to the draft we see now, there was an earlier version that commenced in 1981. At the end of 1982 Footscray, who had finished last drafted me with the first selection.

    Was that a surprise?

    Yes, it was expected that Gary Shaw, an onballer from Claremont was going to be the number 1 pick, but he slipped to number 3 where Collingwood secured him. There was speculation that Collingwood had paid a significant financial inducement to both Footscray & St.Kilda to overlook him.
    That was no speculation, Pol, that was fact.

    Nick Columb met Alan McAlister at the races and told him we were going to draft Garry Shaw and Shaw was going to be the biggest thing the AFL had ever seen.

    McAlister came back Monday morning, knowing how strapped we were for cash, offered us $100K not to pick him.

    In reality, we knew Shaw was a dud and were never going to pick him anyway.

  6. #6
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    TCD you are the man.....I didn't think anything would cheer me up after getting beaten by Carlton and Dylan doing his knee.

    Really appreciate your effort.

  7. #7
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    Love the set play, Kennedy to kick in to Hawkins. Gold.

  8. #8
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    Thanks TCD
    Marching as one

  9. #9
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    Piss funny Sam Newman story.

    This is the best interview yet, great work Baz.

  10. #10
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    Quote Originally Posted by GetDimmaBack View Post
    Do you still have an interest in football?

    Yes, I still follow the Bulldogs. That created a few concerns at one stage. Mick asked me to be the Eagles ruck coach from 1992-1994. I made it very clear to Mick that my loyalty was to Footscray & I wouldn’t help out when the Eagles & the Bulldogs played one another. No way was I going to work against the club I had spilt blood for! Mick was OK with that.


    How's the loyalty? Great player & a great man.

    You've done it again, TCD.
    That struck me as well, reinforces why Polly was one of my favourites as a kid.
    It's a shame that he's on the other side of the continent, as he'd be a great resource for the club to draw on were he closer at hand.

  11. #11
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    I want to know Mjp's take on Polly. East Freo but a doggies man here.
    Jim Sewell as well?

  12. #12
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    I hated playing St.Kilda as they had 2 nutcases in Jeff Sarau & Wow Jones who'd rather a fight than a feed & they were into all day, mad bu$$ers they were!

    I'm sure Purser was reported for kicking in the last Home and Away game of '85 against the Saints at Moorabbin. I remember because I was on a school camp to central australia at the time and I think I heard about it on "The Winners" whilst watching the TV in the Rec Room at the caravan park we were staying at in Alice. Wonder whether he had had enough of WOW and Sarau and just lost it.

    Anyone remember. We lost the game and he was found not guilty.

  13. #13
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    Quote Originally Posted by craigsahibee View Post
    I hated playing St.Kilda as they had 2 nutcases in Jeff Sarau & Wow Jones who'd rather a fight than a feed & they were into all day, mad bu$$ers they were!

    I'm sure Purser was reported for kicking in the last Home and Away game of '85 against the Saints at Moorabbin. I remember because I was on a school camp to central australia at the time and I think I heard about it on "The Winners" whilst watching the TV in the Rec Room at the caravan park we were staying at in Alice. Wonder whether he had had enough of WOW and Sarau and just lost it.

    Anyone remember. We lost the game and he was found not guilty.
    I went to that game. Don't remember the report, but do remember that it wasn't good form to lose to the wooden spooners going into the finals. Sure enough the next week we got thumped in the first qualifying by Hawthorn by 90 plus points.

  14. #14
    brettlesliem1 Guest

    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    Great Interview Good Memories Of Andrew As A teenager At The Whitten Oval

  15. #15
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    Re: Interview with Andrew Purser

    Andrew Purser was my first favourite player. I just loved him when I was little. I inherited my cousin's old sleeveless guernsey with 31 on the back. Because Kelvin Templeton was no longer playing with us I had to choose number 1 or number 3 (Mark Kellett). I chose Andrew Purser. One day at Princes Park after beating Hawthorn my Dad took me into the Bulldogs rooms for Andrew to sign my number 1. He was a bit sore from a tough game & couldn't bend down far enough to sign, so instead sat me up on the rubdown table. Aaahhh. . . . memories.

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