What a difference three years makes
The most telling image of West Coast’s previous grand final appearance was forward Mark LeCras’ daughter Molly using her fingers to make him smile after a loss to Hawthorn in 2015.
But on Saturday the pair were beaming as joyous scenes played out between the Eagles’ families and friends.
“I think I put a smile on her face today,” the former Cervantes footballer said, with Molly smiling widely in his arms. “I think back to that moment and how hard it was and how much your kids help cushion the blow when you lose a grand final, or even a game.
“Family is so special and the coach really embraces family as well.
“There are a lot of guys who have kids around here and as much as they help me, I’m looking forward to celebrating with them.”
LeCras, at 32 the oldest Eagles player, described himself as the “old balls” of the team, but he was not yet ready to call time on his 219- game career. He urged his younger teammates not to take their premiership moment for granted after winning a flag for the first time in his 13-season career.
“I said to a few of the young guys, ‘I’m jealous of ya’,” he said.
“You get to play the rest of your career without the worry of not winning one.
“Within the four walls, Simmo (coach Adam Simpson) has always backed me in and I can’t thank him enough. Now I just want to enjoy it because now I’m bonded for life with these boys.”
Molly Le Cras tries to get Dad to smile after West Coast’s 2015 AFL grand final loss.
Mark LeCras is all smiles with Molly on his shoulders on Saturday.