K rock Football

McMahon’s Medal Shock

Newtown & Chilwell star Matt McMahon is congratulated by club legend Len Alford on his third Mathieson Medal. (Sports Media Image)

BY his own admission, 2019 hadn’t been Matt McMahon’s best.

However, the umpiring fraternity had a contrasting view, resulting in the star Newtown & Chilwell midfielder becoming the first player to win three consecutive Mathieson medals as GFL best-and-fairest.

“I’m absolutely shocked. I came here tonight not expecting that at all,” McMahon said.

“Obviously it’s a really good surprise. I’m really shocked by it, but happy to receive it all the same.”

GFL: MATT’S MATHIESON HAT-TRICK

McMahon polled 33 votes – one more than last year – to finish 14 votes clear of Bell Park co-captain Lachie Patten on 19 votes.

His stunning win came despite labelling 2019 “a battle”.

“Mentally I knew what I wanted to do, but physically I just couldn’t do it,” he said.

“It was still a battle. I knew that being out there on the ground, I still had some sort of involvement with the side and capacity to help the side.

“For me, personally, I knew I couldn’t perform to the level I would have liked to, which was frustrating at times, especially the first half of the year.

“We were doing really well, and it was just a real pleasure to play with the group of guys we had.

“It was still a really enjoyable year even though I wasn’t able to perform at the capacity I really wanted to.”

GFL: YOUNG EAGLES TAKES HOME ALLTHORPE

Incredibly, McMahon rounded out the season with three successive best-on-ground performances after missing Round 15 following surgery on an ongoing Achilles issue.

The Eagles skipper admitted he played through significant pain in the final stages of the season before succumbing to the problem in the qualifying final loss to St Joseph’s.

“I don’t think a lot of people thought that I’d be able to play,” he said. “To get back, I was really proud I was able to get out there with the boys and be able to play some part in our season end.

“At the end of the day, I was told that my season was over when I did do that injury initially.

“The surgery we had – it was a surgery that does happen, but it was also the fast-track my recovery. From every game on it was quite a bonus to be playing.

“I guess that’s why mentally I’m in quite a good place at the moment. That’s because I realised it was a bonus to be out there playing. I came from being told my season was over to nearly playing every game since.

“There was a lot of pain involved, but that’s a part of football. I don’t think about it too much. Every chance I get to run out with the boys, I take that every time.”

Twitter: @tom_king79
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