Seymour-born Fremantle Dockers star admits family ties have attracted him back to Victoria - but he's glad he stayed in the west.By Chalpat Sonti
You can take the boy out of Seymour, but there’s always a part of the boy looking to come back.
At least that’s how it seems to be with star footballer David Mundy.
Speaking to the media after a close to best-on-ground performance for Fremantle in the AFL preliminary final against reigning premiers Sydney on Saturday night, the onballer was asked several questions about a time when a move back to a Victorian club was on the cards.
‘‘Family ties is something that will always draw me home and draw me back to Victoria any chance I get,’’ he said.
‘‘I get back there as much as I can and they come over and visit me as much as they can. Strong family ties I think has made me the person I am, it’s something I’m not afraid to shy away from.’’
But as he heads into football’s biggest game — ‘‘it’s what we play football for, it’s the ultimate’’ — and the chance to make Seymour sporting history against Hawthorn on Saturday night, Mundy is pleased he stayed in the west.
‘‘There was a decision to be made and there was a strong pull, but at the end of the day I saw myself as a Fremantle football player and I wanted to continue in that vein.’’
Mundy also revealed he was revelling being part of the Dockers leadership group.
‘‘When I first came to the club I was a shy country lad and didn’t want to talk to anyone .
‘‘I really enjoy being in the inner sanctum .
And the team vibe is good ahead of Saturday’s big clash at the MCG. Mundy will be joined in a ruthless midfield by Assumption College product Michael Barlow among others.
‘‘I think what makes the team work really well is everyone knows their role within the team .
It is often forgotten Mundy, drafted through the Murray Bushrangers in 2003, made his senior football debut for the Lions that year, but the past two premiership locals are Avenel-born pair Leon Baker (1984 and 1985) and Ian ‘‘Bluey’’ Shelton (1962 and 1965).
Both played for Essendon — in a neat twist, the 1984 flag was the first for the Bombers since 1965 — and also for Seymour, where Shelton made the Team of the Century and coached the side to premierships.
Prior to them, another Avenel native John Henderson won with Collingwood in 1958, in only his seventh game of league football and the Magpies last flag for 32 years.
Shelton played three times on the last Saturday in September, for two wins. He remembers Grand Final week back then as ‘‘very stressful’’.
‘‘Particularly (1965)— because I was under an injury cloud from the preliminary final and was trying to keep it as quiet as possible but (Bombers coach John Coleman) was very keen for me to play whether I was right or not,’’ Shelton said.
The rest is history but the build-up, though intense, was nothing like it is today.
‘‘It was decidedly less professional then, the players all had jobs and only trained a couple of nights a week, but it seemed like there was a lot going on.
‘‘If I had any advice, for what it’s worth now, it’s just to try and soak up as much of it as you can. It’s hard to remember a lot about the actual games you played in (Mundy said after the preliminary final win that he didn’t remember much at all about the Dockers’ previous foray that far in 2006) but this is something that doesn’t come to many people. Just try and remember all the happy things.
‘‘A lot of kids win premierships in the likes of the under-7s and things but when you get to the big ones, you realise how hard they are to win. You can be so lucky to be there in a successful era, because some of the great champions never even played in one — look at (triple Brownlow Medallist) Bobby Skilton.’’
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