FAREWELL TO THE CLASS OF 2017
JW: I think I learnt more about myself. Definitely Gibbo. Yeah, I have unfortunately. I’m a Pisces, so I think I’m a bit soft! Sixteen. Never 15? No, and I was always very precise in the colours I had. I used to go and buy four orange, four blue, then another four orange … (laughs) That’s a lot of times I’ve been second to the footy! MP: I think my family. They’re always there, and they ride the highs and lows.
Well, you’re so caught up in the moment, about what’s next or about what game is coming up, so you very rarely sit there and reflect. SM: I’d say it’s worth it. If there’s ever any regrets it’s usually about something you didn’t sacrifice, or about something you didn’t do.
To my 17-year-old self I think I’d say be thankful that you could provide enjoyment doing something that you loved, to so many other people. That I think is something I’ve really reflected on, is the amount of people who you made happy by doing something you loved.
I’d probably say you’ve got an opportunity to have 10 or 15 years of the best life you could ever have. When you go to a footy club, you end up becoming great mates with so many people. You’re doing what you love, and you become bonded. If I could give one piece of advice it would be to try and earn the respect of your teammates, because I know what it’s like when you’re the larrikin.
I reckon that’s a mistake that a lot of guys that come in and exit the
Yeah, I reflect on it a lot. I think the thing that came to me to a bit later than I would’ve hoped was going from this junior footballer, where you just chased the ball around and it’s pure joy, to becoming a professional. I think the reason why I was able to play until I was 35 was because in the second half of my career I just kept checking in with the 12-year-old self, and what he’d think of that week. He’d more often than not be jumping out of his skin to be a part of it. I got energy from that. Apart from haircuts? I wish I never jumped off that fence.
Two. A couple of mates and I wanted to go into town, so we went to get a taxi out the front of the Torquay Pub and couldn’t get a taxi. I said, “Well, why don’t we just go back into the pub?” At that stage there was a lockout, and they said, “Sorry boys, we’re not letting anyone back in”. I’d heard about people going around the back and jumping the fence. Unfortunately, I decided to jump first, and it wasn’t really a fence, it was more of a toilet block. When I jumped, I heard a bit of a roar from the people inside, and it was taking a little bit longer to hit the ground than what I’d anticipated. When I landed, I knew I’d broken both my ankles. Probably 30! Ice water, for sure. It’s the worst. Meetings for me. Two things for me. I won’t miss the discipline around food. I love food, so I’ve really struggled with it right throughout my career. Then also just waking up during the week, during the season, getting out of bed, feeling sore, and worrying about that impacting how I’m going to play on the weekend. Just the body. We put our bodies through so much, and a lot of us would have had countless operations. I know personally I’ve had 16, and I don’t know how I’m going to be in six years’ time. For me it’s the competitiveness. I think it’s the cause, Hame. Footy clubs, fans, you do feel like you’re a part of a cause. It’s scratching that competitive itch for me. TO WATCH A VIDEO OF THIS INTERVIEW, GO TO heraldsun.com.au FOR AN ADDITIONAL SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH ALL OF THE PLAYERS, GO TO MLC AUSTRALIA’S FACEBOOK PAGE.
HM: Did you learn more about yourself or others? HM: Mitch, who is the most emotional player you’ve ever played with? SM: JG: RM: JG: ST: HM: You’re a writer, Bob. Probably a long letter to yourself? RM: HM: We’ve all made a lot of decisions, and gone...