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Christmas time for the Bulldogs

Wednesday, 28th July, 2021

By Emily Ferguson

Ben Victory was named North Football Club’s 2021 Top Dog at their annual Past Players Reunion on Sunday.
Victory said it was “humbling” to have received the title of Top Dog, and an honour he is very proud of.
“Yeah, I didn’t see that coming at all. I had my top three like everyone does, we all have little side wagers and stuff about who’s going to get it, so it’s pretty humbling.”
Victory became quite emotional upon hearing the announcement that he was this year’s Top Dog. He said it means a lot to him, having been a part of the North Football Club for a long while and seeing others receive this honour.
“I’ve just been around the club since I was a kid and played a lot of games and have loved being involved, love the people and the club,” he said. “So to be recognised with some of the names that have won it before me is just hard to explain really. It’s very humbling. It’s like - those people who I’ve looked up to - and to be recognised like that is crazy.”
The Top Dogs is awarded to someone with outstanding commitment to the club. Victory has played 255 Reserve Grade games for North, was President of the Club from 2012 to 2015, Chair of the Past Players from 2016 to 2019 and resumed the role of President from 2020 to present.
Last year with no football being played and no real club activity, Victory designed a business plan for the club where they traded profitability with no major Saturday night income stream.
Victory was modest in saying while he appreciates being singled out, he doesn’t do it alone.
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“Just carrying on traditions really, keeping traditions going and also progressing as well. I think if you can progress the club and try to leave it in a better place than you found it when you contribute, that’s contributing well.
“But it’s not just me, it’s the committee. And over the last couple of years they’ve knuckled down and done the hard yards through COVID to keep the club in a good place while we were in a hiatus from football,” he said.
“It’s not just me, I think that you can get singled out but what we did last year is a massive achievement as a football club. And just our supporters, members and players to get behind what we did to put the club in a really good position financially and culturally.”
Victory is happy with how the club is going both on and off-field at the moment. “I feel like off-field it’s been a year that feels like we’ve started a football club from scratch. So I think we’ve made mistakes - well I have - and I’ve learnt from them… We’ve made mistakes along the way trying to feel our way back into football and how to run the club again. It feels like we’ve started fresh as a football club.
“On-field, I think there’s a bit of a changing of the guard with younger guys coming through and if we can pass those traditions onto them and the culture of what is the Bulldog spirit, then this year is going to be a great stepping stone for us. But also after what we did yesterday (Saturday), I think we’re in a lot better shape than what a lot of people think we are.”
Victory, like many other Northies, likes to refer to Old Timers as Christmas, “Exactly what I think it is, it’s Christmas for us. A lot of what happened yesterday (Saturday) with milestones and doing it for Pup (Mitchell) and the young guys and everything like that, Old Timers is more than just a party for us, you have to win for the old boys,” he said.
“We make a big thing of it, we always do. Sunday is not the same if you don’t give it your all on Saturday and you get the rewards for playing hard on Saturday. It feels so much sweeter on Christmas Day.”
Victory finished off by saying, “I’d just like to thank everyone who has been a part of the club, now or over an extended period of time. All the playing group, all the supporters, all of our members… And all the people that have gone before me.”

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