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Bulldog Icons - Mark Kimpton

Some iconic Bulldogs will be on hand to mark the unfurling of the 2016 premiership flag.

When the 2016 premiership flag is unfurled at Etihad Stadium on Friday, 31 March, some iconic Bulldogs will be on hand to mark the occasion.

Today’s ICON profile: Mark Kimpton

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Everyone at the Western Bulldogs knows 'Klippo'.

Whether you're a player, a coach or a member of staff at Whitten Oval, you cannot avoid the larger-than-life, boisterous, always friendly man.

'Klippo' is Mark Kimpton. He is the Facility Manager at the Western Bulldogs but there are few jobs he hasn't done since arriving at the Kennel as a trainer way back in 1993. 

A Bulldog since he the day he was born in Sunshine 54 years ago, Klippo played at Footscray District League clubs Albion and North Sunshine, captaining the latter to its first ever premiership in 1986.

When Klippo arrived at Whitten Oval, he was by far the youngest of the trainers. "The average age of the others was about 70!,” he said.

Klippo graduated to the role of head trainer and eventually moved into the role of team manager, which he says was a sad day for former Bulldog skipper Brad Johnson.

"The hardest thing about changing roles was telling Johnno I couldn't strap his ankles anymore,  he told the AFL Record in 2014.

“He was very particular. Initially I'd do it just for him in between my other duties. It took a year to wean him off."

Klippo marvels at the transformation of the Bulldogs' football department over the past five years.

In his time as team manager, he often took on many other roles, such as player welfare manager. But the department has grown rapidly since then and now, he says, there are five people in spaces where there used to be only one.

Asked if he believes the Bulldogs football department is now on a par with the traditionally larger clubs, Klippo is in no doubt. 

"I reckon we might be in front now, especially with the assistance provided by Victoria University."

As facility manager, Klippo is the man to call on when anything needs doing. And that call comes often - it's rare to find Klippo sitting at the desk in his office. That's Klippo in a nutshell, always out there doing whatever he can to help the club.

Klippo describes himself as, "committed to the cause - loyal."

No one at the Western Bulldogs would ever doubt that.

Bulldog Icons - Garry Johnson

Some iconic Bulldogs will be on hand to mark the unfurling of the 2016 premiership flag.
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