AFL Grand Final: Injured Western Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce reveals injury heartbreak

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Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
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Josh Bruce has spoken of his heartbreak at missing his club’s grand final.
Camera IconJosh Bruce has spoken of his heartbreak at missing his club’s grand final. Credit: Quinn Rooney/via AFL Photos

There’s always a heartbreaking tale at every AFL Grand Final, and this year it’s injured Western Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce.

The 29-year-old is the only Bulldogs player to be left behind in Melbourne as the squad arrived in Perth for a lengthy stay.

Despite staying busy by assisting in packing online merchandise orders for the club the past few weeks, Bruce admitted he’d been on an emotional rollercoaster watching his teammates from the sidelines.

“It kills me not to be there,” he conceded on 7Sport.

“It’s been really an emotional time.

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“There’s been a lot of highs and a lot of lows lately.

Injured Bulldog Josh Bruce helps out back at the club.
Camera IconInjured Bulldog Josh Bruce helps out back at the club. Credit: Western Bulldogs

“I’m looking forward to them getting home, that’s for sure.”

Bruce enjoyed a stunning start to the 2021 season, kicking 10 goals against North Melbourne back in round three.

He cemented his place in the Bulldogs forward line and kicked 48 goals for the season before his year came to an abrupt end.

Scans confirmed Bruce tore his ACL against Essendon in round 21 and he would miss the remainder of his club’s finals campaign.

The Dogs lost that clash to Essendon and went winless in the final round games without Bruce as their key target.

But the club managed to regroup in the finals and have since marched to their second grand final appearance in five years.

Bruce isn’t the only Bulldog to be left out in the cold on grand final day, with Ryan Gardner and Laitham Vandermeer dropped for today’s clash to make way for returning Cody Weightman and Alex Keath.

The moment Josh Bruce’s 2021 season came to an end.
Camera IconThe moment Josh Bruce’s 2021 season came to an end. Credit: Quinn Rooney/via AFL Photos

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