On this day: The Dad Debutants
4 April, 1981

On this day: The Dad Debutants

As 2016 premiership teammates, Zaine Cordy and Lachie Hunter will share a special bond for the rest of their lives, but that's not where the link between the two ends.

Lachie Hunter and his father Mark Hunter at media opportunity to mark the 30th Anniversary of the ‘Fightback of ’89’ at VU Whitten Oval on July 09, 2019. Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos via Getty Images
As 2016 premiership teammates, Zaine Cordy and Lachie Hunter will share a special bond for the rest of their lives, but that's not where the link between the two ends. 
Cordy's father Brian and Lachie's Dad Mark both made their debuts for the Bulldogs on April 4.
Brian Cordy first ran out in the red, white and blue in 1981, joining older brother Neil Cordy and fellow debutants Alister Ford, Mark Komp and Warren Stanlake (father of Australian cricketer Billy). It was a baptism of fire, the Dogs copping a hiding at the hands of Collingwood at Victoria Park.
Cordy had only three touches that day, but he collected 18, 23 and 27 over the ensuing three weeks to establish himself as a permanent member of the Footscray side. He became renowned his dashing runs off the half-back line and set up many a Bulldogs goal with his creativity in defence.
Footscray climbed the ladder over the next few years, and Cordy was a big factor in that rise. In 1985 he was one of eight Bulldogs to play all 25 games as the club surged towards a premiership, only to fall agonisingly short in the Preliminary Final against Hawthorn.
A pre-season knee injury saw Cordy miss much of the 1986 season, and the Bulldogs struggled in his absence. He returned late in the season and in 1987 was back to his best, playing 20 of 22 games and providing great drive for the Dogs.
Persistent knee problems forced Cordy to retire from top level footy in 1988, a year in which he played just two games to take his total to 124.
Cordy's last year was Mark Hunter's first at senior level for the Dogs, although the pair did not play together, Hunter out of the side in the two games Cordy played in 1988. 
Hunter, who joined the Dogs as a 22-year-old after playing both Under 19s and Reserves football with Geelong, had a much happier debut than Cordy, the Bulldogs recording a stirring 26-point win over Sydney at Waverley on the back of a big last quarter.

Coming off the bench late in the second quarter, Hunter was a key contributor, collecting 12 touches and kicking an important third-quarter goal. He would continue to be an important contributor for years to come — mainly off a half-back flank — over 130 games, a figure that would have been much higher if not for a series of hamstring injuries, which Mark estimates cost him 70-80 games. 
When his hamstrings were healthy, Hunter was one of the first Bulldogs picked in the team each week, and there were very few bad games in the 130 he played. Perhaps his best season was 1994, a year which saw the Dogs feature in the finals. Hunter averaged 20 disposals across 22 games, and his total of 365 kicks was the AFL's fourth-highest in that season.
Brian Cordy and Mark Hunter might be known by many today as the fathers of premiership players Zaine and Lachie, but Doggies fans who are old enough well remember the great on-field contributions they made to the Bulldogs in the 1980s and 1990s.
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