IF FREMANTLE’S cheer squad had planned its banner-making for the 2014 season straight after last year’s AFL grand final loss, Nick Suban’s 100-game celebration would have been penned in for another few weeks’ time, not this Saturday.
Suban was reported during the 15-point loss to Hawthorn for striking Sam Mitchell, but dodged the extra loading for grand final indiscretions and was suspended for just one match.
He has remained there since and chalks up his 100th AFL appearance this weekend when the Dockers play St Kilda.
By the time the 2014 season came about, Suban had simply put the incident behind him and counted round one as part of his pre-season.
“I was just tackling pre-season, trying to work on my fitness and strength like everyone, session by session and just go from there,” the Bacchus Marsh export said.
“I wasn’t disappointed or anything. I just had to train hard and keep working hard, like everyone.”
The Dockers have also worked hard, developing players who can play a role for the team in a number of positions around the ground and Suban, a former North Ballarat Rebels and Vic Country under-18 captain, is one of several on their list who can do so.
“There is a number of us that can do the same thing,” he said.
“Lachie Neale forward, mid; Tendai (Mzungu) plays a lot of different positions – so I think you have to have that versatility to be able to play multiple roles.
“I think I have been a lot more consistent, but I am just happy to play a role in the side and whether that is forward, mid, back, it doesn’t really matter.”
“Obviously everyone loves kicking a goal but really, for me, it’s just working hard and you try and get yourself in the right spot,” he said.
“If you’re lucky enough to be near the goals and you get to have a shot, then that’s lucky, so it’s just all about working hard and getting to the right spots.
“Obviously that’s what Ross said (that they want to kick more goals this season than last) earlier in the year and I think we’re slowly starting to improve on that.
“We look for multiple goalkickers; we don’t just look for the keys to kick goals, so if mids and half-backs can push up and kick a couple it’s always handy.”