FAREWELL TO THE CLASS OF 2017

Sunday Herald Sun - - THE INTERVIEW -

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 down a lot of dif­fer­ent roads. Is there a de­ci­sion you made that you look back on and wish you hadn’t? RM: HM: (laughs) Leav­ing hair­cuts out of it. SJ: HM: You broke one an­kle or two do­ing that? SJ: HM: How many beers deep were you? SJ: HM: What are you go­ing to miss least about the game? You can’t say pre­sea­son. SM: MP: NR:

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