K rock Football

Saints’ Red Sox motivation

St Mary’s captain Jacob Welsh with co-coaches Travis Robertson (left) and Gleen Keast. (Sports Media Image)

THE Boston Red Sox improbable run to winning baseball’s World Series in 2004 has been revealed as the inspiration behind a stunning form reversal that resulted in St Mary’s winning the 2019 GFL premiership.

The Saints, who started the season 0-3 and needed to beat Leopold in the final round just to book a finals berth, capped a stunning September with a thrilling two-point grand final win over Colac at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.

“I went away when we had a break in the middle of the year, and I read a book, and the context of the book was about leadership and what makes great leaders,” co-coach Glenn Keast, who along with the rest of the coaching staff wore a Red Sox hat during the finals series, said

“One of the stories in the book was about the Boston Red Sox who had struggled for 86 years to win the World Series.

“They were 10½ games behind the (New York) Yankees through the course of the year, and they ended up getting to the conference final (American League Championship Series) against Yankees.

They were down 0-3, and they were 120/1 in a seven games series, and they came back and won. We certainly had a focus of what that was going to look like for us through the finals. They were able to win the World Series, and we’ve been able to replicate that.

“I think we were at least 120/1 with three minutes to go.”

For Keast, it was his fourth GFL premiership as a coach, having guided North Shore to the last three of its six consecutive flags between 1995-2000.

He says winning one just as a coach has a different feel to it.

“When I was playing and coaching, you’re clearly a lot more emotive and emotionally connected to the game,” Keast said.

“I actually didn’t enjoy coaching when I finished playing. But, now, I can’t play so this is the next best thing.

“I feel pretty connected right now, that’s for sure.”

Keast, who became just the second person to coach 200 senior games in the GFL on Saturday, says the challenge is now there for St Mary’s to do it all again in 2020.

“The group will take a lot of confidence in what happened today,” he said. “Hopefully, they can go on with it.

“‘Robbo’ (co-coach Travis Robertson) did some stats today that our average age is about 21-and-a-bit.

“So, we’ve still got plenty of time in this group that’s for sure.”

Twitter: @tom_king79
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