Time to farewell club stalwarts
ANOTHER footy season has come and gone, just like that.
Although you’re playing in sudden death finals at this time of the year, it still comes as a bit of a shock when the final siren sounds and you’re on the wrong end of the score.
All of your thoughts going into the game are how to win it, what you need to do to advance and then suddenly it’s over. You start to think about what comes next, the blokes you will never play with again and what you might do during the off-season.
When any season comes to a close there are always blokes who will never be part of your footy club again. Some retire, some are de-listed and some are traded. It’s the nature of the game and it’s going to be a little weird in the locker room next year.
For all my career at West Coast the No.11 locker has been occupied by Matt Priddis and after we lost on Saturday night to GWS his career is over.
Along with Drew Petrie and Sam Mitchell, he had announced his retirement, while Sam Butler called an end to his career when he needed shoulder surgery late in the year.
We will miss all of those blokes, but Pridda has been an institution at the club. Coming off the rookie list he finishes in the top 10 in games played in West Coast history, with 240 games. But it wasn’t just the number of games he played, it’s what he did in them.
He was one of those blokes who gave himself the best chance to play well just because he was thorough in his recovery from one game and his preparation into the next.
Pridda has set levels of professionalism for all of the young blokes to follow and hopefully they do because that will give them the best chance to succeed and have an impact at elite level.
Apart from all of that Pridda is just a good, honest bloke. He says what he thinks and everything he does is motivated by getting the best result for the team.
We’re all going to miss him in the day-to-day routine.
Mitch and Drewie have been around for only a year but have been terrific for us. Drew is another who leaves nothing to chance in his preparation and set a terrific example for everyone, while Mitch will continue as part of the coaching staff.
It was a disappointing way to end the year, but anything short of a premiership is always disappointing.