For me Sir Doug Nicholls Round is about paying respect to those who have come before me and playing alongside my brothers like Jarrod Harbrow and Sean Lemmens. It’s what these great players have passed onto me that means the most. The other thing is family. As a kid growing up I followed the Crows because that’s who my Dad went for. In the lounge room of our home in Adelaide he taught my brother and me about taking hangs off the arm of the couch and where to stand for the for the drop of the ball. I’ve heard Nicky Winmar learned to take screamers from a car seat stuck in the middle of a paddock. For Uncle Syd Jackson, this year’s honouree, he had to get a kick with 40 other kids competing for one footy. Some people think the way Aboriginal footballers play is natural, but I think its because we love football and we are schooled to understand the game from a young age.
When I think about the Sir Doug Nicholls round the players that stick out in my mind are the the little masters. Andrew McLeod was incredible as was Leon Davis. But when I think about players I can’t go past Cyril Rioli. He’s the man. But then I think harder and Eddie Betts comes into my head. When I got the chance to swap jumpers with him last year when we were up in Darwin it was unforgettable. It’s through those sorts of experiences that you become stoked for the opportunity to play alongside some of the best footballers ever. It's deadly.
For me though footy is not my end goal. Playing is a privilege and my profession but being a footballer is not my only thing. But for me the people that keep me centred other than my family is Harbs and Lemmo. They have guided me along the pathway. Lemmo took me into his home and he taught me about all the important things I need to do to prepare. For Harbs he is the king of the community. If we are at a footy clinic or a school he is the person I try to model myself on. I just count myself lucky.