A third-generation Wodonga teenager will make his senior Anzac Day debut on Sunday.
Midfielder Josh Mathey is just 17, but is the club's only player to feature in the best in their opening three games.
Mathey's father Darren and grandfather Leo both played for the Bulldogs, with the latter presenting the teenager with his jumper before the away clash against Corowa-Rutherglen in round one.
"Yeah, it was emotional, Pop was tearing up, I had to keep myself together, it was a really special moment," he revealed.
Josh has played junior footy on Anzac Day, but the home clash against fierce rivals Wodonga Raiders marks a significant milestone.
"It means everything, ever since I was a young fellow, being a third-generation Mathey to play for the Wodonga Bulldogs means absolutely everything to me this game," he offered.
The passion in the year 11 student's voice highlights his immense pride in both his family and his football club.
Mathey wears No. 2, while his younger brother Jack dons the No. 35 worn by their father.
He trialled with the Murray Bushrangers over summer, but was cut from the final list, acknowledging his height (176cms) and pace counted against him.
"I just took it in my stride, you see people like Caleb Daniel (168cm player with the Western Bulldogs), you have to use it (lack of size) as a strength, not a weakness," he explained.
"I'm also trying to home in on my speed, that was another reason they said was a reason (why I didn't get selected by the Bushrangers), just not quite fast enough and I'll work on my endurance as well, being able to get around the ground."
Mathey has shown a wonderfully positive attitude to his rejection and is working to overcome his speed deficiency.
"I've been doing sprint training a couple of times a week and our strength and conditioning coach at Wodonga, he's really good with that," he said.
"I've seen major improvement over the pre-season, I've beaten all my times in all my (sprint) tests."
Wodonga has been the long-time underdogs to Raiders and while both teams have a win apiece, against Yarrawonga in successive weeks, the home team will again be outsiders.
In fact, Raiders have won the past six clashes by an average margin of 59 points.
The Bulldogs haven't won since round 14, 2016.
The inclusion of Raiders' co-captain Jydon Neagle is a massive inclusion for the visitors in his first game in the league since the 2018 preliminary final loss to Wangaratta.
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The match starts from 3pm at John Flower Oval.
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