Rivalry revered at Bunbury barber shop

Jackson BarrettSouth Western Times
Bryony Gell and Dylan Wicksteed work side by side during the day, but play football on opposite sides of Bunbury’s biggest sporting rivalry.
Camera IconBryony Gell and Dylan Wicksteed work side by side during the day, but play football on opposite sides of Bunbury’s biggest sporting rivalry.

Every city has at least one great sporting rivalry. Perth has Fremantle and West Coast, Liverpool has Everton and Liverpool, and Bunbury has the Bulldogs and the Tigers.

Red and white or yellow and black. South Bunbury or Bunbury.

Despite being deprived of one of their two annual meetings, and being shifted from the now traditional WA Day slot by a global pandemic, this great sporting rivalry will continue into its 122nd year when the two clubs meet at Hands Oval on Saturday.

The rivalry is felt particularly strongly at The Barberia of Bunbury on Arthur Street, with two hairdressing apprentices, Bunbury’s Dylan Wicksteed and South Bunbury’s Bryony Gell working side-by-side, but training and playing on opposite sides of town.

Wicksteed, whose great grandfather Ron Buswell is a member of the South Bunbury hall of fame, recognises the importance of the rivalry.

“The rivalry is pretty big, all the boys seem to get around it,” he said.

In his third season at the club after transitioning from soccer, he finds himself in the league squad at the Bulldogs.

“I really enjoy playing at Bunbury, it’s just a big family and I don’t see myself going anywhere anytime soon,” Wicksteed said.

“It should be interesting to see how we go, anything can happen in a derby.”

Gell is an inaugural player in the successful South Bunbury women’s program and as well as balancing work and football, also plays netball for the Tigers.

“Souths is just an awesome club,” she said.

“We know most of the girls that play for Bunbury and they are really cool, we hang out outside of footy, it is all fun and games, but we definitely have to win.”

The two clubs will also compete for the Syd Jackson/Max McGuire cup when they meet on Saturday, a tribute to two of the region’s greatest ever footballers.

Bunbury come into the Round 4 league clash unbeaten, comfortably taking care of the Eaton Boomers on Sunday, while an undermanned South Bunbury lost to HBL, and both sides are unbeaten in the women’s competition having played two games each.

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