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Melbourne’s Dog Days Just Beginning

The Melbourne Football Club now requires a kennel with seven current players and one retired player buying into a greyhound pup.

Shannon Byrnes, Jack Watts, Jack Trengove, Max Gawn, Luke Tapscott, James Frawley, Lynden Dunne and Bernie Vince decided to buy a pup after a number of discussions at dinners and in the spa after training or games.

Byrnes, who has now retired from football and is looking forward to a career in coaching, joined Watts at a kennel visit to Carl McGrath’s Shepparton property to pick out their prize pup from a Cape Hawke x Proven Que Tee litter.

Byrnes and Watts commented that the boys are big greyhound racing fans and are often watching the races together, analysing the form and consuming the sport that is continuing to captivate young (18-35 year old) audiences.

“We always watch greyhound racing and love the sport,” Watts said “It’s fast, fun and exciting and we thought it would be awesome to get involved in buying a greyhound.”

The boys said they would even like to start somewhat of a dynasty, with their first pup to be the launching pad required for extended involvement in the sport into the future.

Talking on Melbourne radio, Byrnes said that this could be the start of a long involvement in the sport for the boys and discussed potential names to carry on through the lineage.

“We’ve only got the kennel name yet and that’s Fred,” he said  “we (Shannon and Jack) decided that we had the rights to the name because we were the ones that went down there to pick him out and thought ‘Watts Byrening’ would be good.

“We also thought that we might have something that could be carried on with a theme.

“Something like Starving, the next one would be Peckish and the next one would be Ravenous – anything to do with being hungry and you know it would be ours.”

After learning about greyhound ownership and what to look for when buying a pup, the boys came to the conclusion that little Fred feels like he will be a champion.

Greyhound ownership is unique, in that when the greyhound begins to race, trainers and owners usually split the prize money on a 50/50 basis meaning there are no ongoing training fees or monthly bills that unexpectedly arrive in the mail.

Byrnes – a premiership player with Geelong and a Shepparton local – and Watts – a number 1 draft pick who has played 95 games for the Demons – will continue to watch the greyhound’s development and will continue to visit him in the lead up to a potential racing career.

Time will tell whether their little demon will produce some heavenly performances on the track.

WATCH: Jack Watts and Shannon Byrnes select their pup

PIC: Shannon Byrnes and Jack Watts with ‘Fred’ – Pic courtesy Ray Sizer/Shepparton News.

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