ISAAC Smith didn’t even watch his match-defining goal sail through at the MCG on Saturday.
With Hawthorn’s four- goal lead cut to just 10 points five minutes into the final term, Ballarat’s Smith was hit on the chest on the 50 metre arc by Newlyn’s Brad Sewell.
Smith later told The Age: “Sometimes you’ve just gotta go back and take the responsibility. I did that and I hit it sweet. I knew straight away, as soon as it came off the boot, I put a bit of mail on the top.”
Smith immediately began a high-leaping, fist pumping celebration as the 55-metre drop punt went straight through the sticks, putting the Hawks three goals clear of Fremantle in the 2013 AFL grand final.
Hawthorn’s eventual 15-point victory capped off a unique trifecta for Smith, achieved over just five years.
Moving from Cootamundra to Ballarat for a sports medicine degree, Smith initially began playing football with Redan reserves before moving up to the seniors, winning the 2009 BFL grand final best on ground.
The North Ballarat Roosters came knocking but Smith initially rebuffed their offers, keen to enjoy his footy with the Lions.
However, a gentle push from Redan saw him join the VFL ranks, winning a premiership with the Roosters in 2010 before he was drafted by Hawthorn later that year.
Smith debuted in May 2011 and has never looked back.
Redan senior coach Eammon Gill said Smith’s goal was phenomenal.
“It’s a pretty remarkable story, each premiership along the way would have been a massive highlight of his career,” Mr Gill said.
“It’s every kid’s dream to play in an AFL grand final.
“The football club is rapt for him, its been a fantastic ride, but the full credit has to go to Isaac.”