Building to a premiership takes time. It takes talent, hard work, attention to detail, courage, leadership and more than an ounce of luck. Footscray's first taste of finals, in 1938, was not a winning one and nor would finals success be tasted for nearly 15 years, when they emerged victorious against Essendon in a 1953 semi-final. The absence of star full-forward, Jack Collins suspended for four weeks at the end of the home-and-away season would prove fatal to Footscray's 1953 Premiership hopes; but their success set the scene for the 1954 season. By this time, the Bulldogs side was stronger than ever, boasting one of the era's greatest footballers in Ted Whitten, the unyielding captain-coach Charlie Sutton, a goalkicking force in Collins, future Brownlow Medallist Peter Box and an impressive defence comprising Herb Henderson, Wally Donald and Jim Gallagher, among others. This time, Footscray made it to the last Saturday in September led at all breaks to run out 51-point Premiership victors. The Premiership brought drought for the Bulldogs, however, and despite a number of heartbreaking Preliminary final defeats, 2016 saw a young Bulldogs side built on belief and mateship, unified by a common goal breaking a 62-year drought and returning the Premiership Cup to Whitten Oval. With Easton Wood assuming the leadership role in the absence of injured talisman Robert Murphy, the youthful brigade of Bontempelli, Boyd, Johannisen and others gave the Bulldogs faithful a moment for which many had been waiting a lifetime Premiership glory.