Greet­ing sea­son with ex­cite­ment

Cockburn Gazette - - SPORT -

NO mat­ter how long you have been in the ‘sys­tem’, it gets pretty ex­cit­ing when a new sea­son be­gins.

Af­ter a cou­ple of pre-sea­son matches, it was great to fi­nally get out there for the open­ing round of the new sea­son against Bris­bane last week.

The but­ter­flies, the nerves, and the sense of get­ting ready to run out with your team­mates were all back.

And with that first game out of the way, you start to get a bit more rou­tine into your life. For us, it was a re­cov­ery ses­sion down at the beach on Easter Mon­day, train­ing again Tues­day and Thurs­day, and we’ll then head off to Mel­bourne on Fri­day.

That’s our rou­tine for so much of the year, jump­ing on a plane ev­ery sec­ond week and head­ing to Mel­bourne.

We’re all look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge of play­ing Hawthorn at the MCG.

Last time we played them, it didn’t go to plan. The Hawks have won the past three grand fi­nals, so they’re the best team in the com­pe­ti­tion and it will be good to see how our team mea­sures up against them at this early stage of the sea­son.

This will not be a sea­son-defin­ing game so early into 2016, but it will pro­vide us with some idea of where we sit at this point.

It’s a long de­mand­ing year, but ev­ery week shapes the sea­son in some form. We’ll be keen to win, but it won’t be about find­ing redemp­tion.

We have to look for­ward, win as many games as we can as quickly as we can to en­sure we get a crack at the fi­nals. Once we have done that, we will then take aim at fin­ish­ing as high up the ta­ble as we can. That was our ap­proach last year and it got us to the grand fi­nal. THE West Coast Ea­gles have a new ju­nior No.1 ticket holder and he’s al­ready kick­ing goals off the field.

Af­ter grow­ing his hair for more than two years, Jack Church­man got it chopped off last week by West Coast Ea­gles Cancer Coun­cil WA am­bas­sadors Luke Shuey and Andrew Gaff, rais­ing more than $9000 for Cancer Coun­cil WA.

The Bassendean nineyear-old has been run­ning Jack’s Big Cut – his Cancer Coun­cil WA fundrais­ing cam­paign – since 2014 af­ter be­ing in­spired by young peo­ple liv­ing with cancer.

“There were some kids in my sis­ter’s class who had cancer and it was hard for them,” he said. “I felt re­ally bad for them; I just wanted to help.”

Luke Shuey, who cut Jack’s hair, said he was amazed at Jack’s fundrais­ing ef­forts.

“What Jack has done has blown me away; rais­ing $9000 for Cancer Coun­cil WA is out­stand­ing,” Shuey said.

While Jack was go­ing to have a break from fundrais­ing to al­low his hair to re­turn to a more man­age­able state, he did have one piece of ad­vice for peo­ple who were think­ing about giv­ing fundrais­ing a go.

“Some peo­ple might think they are too small or too young to help peo­ple with cancer, but ev­ery­one can do some­thing,” Jack said. “If I did it, so can you, so just do it for cancer.”

Jack’s great com­mu­nity ef­forts led to the ad­di­tional sur­prise of be­ing hon­oured with the ju­nior No.1 ticket-holder’s man­tle, where he fol­lows on from Zac Main­war­ing.

Jack is a ju­nior mem­ber, but had do­nated the funds he would nor­mally com­mit to pay­ing for it to­wards his com­mit­ment on be­half of Cancer Coun­cil WA.

He has rarely been to an Ea­gles game, but will now have two tick­ets to ev­ery home game for the next two years.

Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group is an af­fil­i­ated part­ner of the West Coast Ea­gles.

Andrew Gaff and Luke Shuey pre­pare to chop off Jack Church­man's locks.

With Josh Kennedy

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