Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Devastation and a little consolation for O'Keefe

Seymour defender matt O'Keefe named player of the finals series.

CHALPAT SONTI October 5, 2012 10:02am

The faces of the Seymour Lions tell a tale after the 28-point grand final loss.

Matt O’Keefe isn’t known for expressing sentiment, but there was a brief moment where it might have flickered in the aftermath of the grand final.

O’Keefe, who gave his usual wholehearted effort, was as devastated as any Lion with the result.

He was the only Seymour player to go on the presentation dais, receiving the Barry Connolly Medal for best player of the finals.

While O’Keefe was surprised to get the medal — ‘‘I don’t know why they picked me,’’ he said — it was a fitting reward for not only September but the whole season, in which he was one of the Lions’ best.

O’Keefe wasn’t thinking too much about that medal in the rooms after the game however, when he was greeted by his old-time sparring partner in junior football, Adelaide Crows star Richard Douglas.

Douglas was sporting a Seymour training shirt in support of brother Robbie and commiserated with his old mate.

‘‘At least we both know what it feels like,’’ O’Keefe told Douglas.

The previous week a devastated Douglas and his Adelaide Crows team-mates had been through the agony of losing an AFL preliminary final.

O’Keefe, like most Lions, felt the GVFL grand final was a game there to be won, but credited his opposition.

‘‘They just didn’t allow us to play to our abilities,’’ he said.

‘‘We played to that for the first three finals. Credit where credit’s due, they finished on top of the ladder for a reason.

‘‘Their pressure around the footy, their tackling, was second to none. We made a lot of skill errors but at the end of the day, that’s footy.’’

And in case any of his Seymour Blasters mates are reading this, he has a message for them.

‘‘I’m having the summer off, I’m not even contemplating basketball,’’ he said.

‘‘But the boys will probably try and rope me into it.’’

His brother Tim is already looking forward to next season, reckoning he might have turned the corner at last on injuries that have hampered his progress in recent years.

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