Passion, sacrifice driving force for Bulldog veteran

Few players embody what playing in the Rugby League Brisbane competition is about more than Bulimba stalwart Dan Waterson. QRL correspondent Mike Simpson recently sat down with Waterson to tell his story and talk about why he loves his local club.

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For the past seven years, Bulimba Bulldogs lock Dan Waterson has been serving the club proud as a powerhouse at the Balmoral Recreation Ground.

With a body that demonstrates countless hours at the tattoo parlour, he may look a little intimidating when he is suited up in the blue and white of Bulimba or riding his motorbike, but you won't find a nicer bloke to speak with off the field.

A strapping man from the NSW country town of Sawtell, Waterson found himself at Bulimba and has been one of the reasons they were able to win five straight grand finals in the old Brisbane Second Division competition.

When asked what he put that success down to Waterson replied, "there is something about this club that makes people want to come here. We don't get paid a cent, but the aura around the club has seen some good players rock up and nobody wants to leave because of the culture."

After relaxing with a few beers a recent game at Bulimba, Waterson's passion for the club shone in his eyes and the emotion he showed when he spoke about it at length left no doubt about how important the place was to him. 

Waterson has seen many epic battles on the pitch, but you can see the passion that burns inside him when he discusses the tough times the club has endured to stay afloat.

Affectionately known as "The Kennel", Bulimba is quite the picturesque club, situated only a stone's throw from the mouth of the Brisbane River and surrounded by plush homes and expensive cars.

Don't be fooled by the opulence that drips from the surrounding streets, Bulimba are not the silvertails of the competition, nor do they want that tag.

The Bulldogs share their facilities with the local rugby union club and it is probably fair to say they are the little brother of the two clubs.

The club has not fielded any juniors for some years and to make ends meet, the Bulldogs rely on sponsorship and the odd sausage sizzle. Can bar takings also help keep the wheels turning.

But with all the hardship and struggles, there are too many brilliant people to mention who have worked tirelessly to keep the club afloat and help secure a staggering five consecutive premierships.

Waterson is one of the cornerstones of that success both on and off the field and he can comfortably be called a club legend as he has earned every bit of that status.

Tough, uncompromising and one of the hardest players to have pulled on a Bulldogs jersey, you simply must take notice of how good he has been at the club.

Possibly once an unknown entity to many people that follow the local competition, you can now put a name to the face of the tattooed motorcycle riding warrior from Sawtell.

* Mike Simpson is the QRL correspondent for Rugby League Brisbane