McGovern’s burning desire to get to the top
After an injury ruled Mitch McGovern out of last year’s AFL grand final, North Albany product Mitch McGovern will do anything to get back to football’s biggest stage. He spoke to sports reporter Cameron Newbold this week.
Heading into your fourth season on the Crows list. How has pre-season gone?
It has been a different one compared to most, coming off that hamstring. It has sort of put me back a bit, there were a couple hurdles to get over before I could get back into the swing of it but I’m back into it now and feel in a good spot.
A hamstring injury shattered your AFL grand final dream. How tough was that to take given how hard you had worked to get back?
It was quite a shattering feeling, all the hard work I had down the drain. It was a tough one to be involved in but I had Brodie Smith alongside me who was in a worse position with an ACL. I did everything possible to give myself a chance to play but it wasn’t to be.
How is the feeling around the group so far in the pre-season, is there added motivation to amends for after that final defeat?
Obviously we reviewed the grand final pretty deeply and took some stuff from it. At the moment the group are in such a good space, we are driven to get back there again but know how much work there is to do and can’t wait for the JLT and round to start.
What was it like watching on AFL grand final day, how your emotions were as you watched the boys?
It was tough to explain my emotions on the day. I had a burning feeling, deep down knowing I couldn’t be a part of it but I had to be there for the boys and help spur them on. At the end of the day I was just a spectator sitting in the stands.
Last year was big year personally for you, signing on with the Crows for another three years. The lure to come home no doubt was big, how long did it take to reach a decision and what was the biggest factor in that decision?
I’ve got Jezza, Mum and Dad and friends back home, which made negotiations tough. I signed on with confidence in the playing group and the opportunity that we have going forward. This is our premiership window and I won’t get a better shot a premiership with any other team.
The JLT Series kicks off this weekend. How much of Mitch McGovern can we expect to see?
I’m hoping the full lot, I want to play both games and the more match fitness I can get the better.
Your body hasn’t been the most reliable over the years. How does it feel now and have you had to make changes to the way you train and play?
The body is starting to feel it going into my fourth season. We’ve made a few significant changes with my hamstring, that gives me the best opportunity to be out there for as much as I can.
Last year the heat was on yourself regarding a contract and now big brother Jeremy is in the same predicament. Any advice for him?
Jezza, try not to read the newspaper and stay off social media. For me it was a confidence booster, having your name in the media every day wanting to prove to myself and everyone that you deserve to have your name thrown up there in the headlines.
What is the thing you don’t enjoy about pre-season the most?
It has to be running, I can’t stand the amount we do these days. You take the good with the bad but and tend to accept it with the profession we are in.
The Adelaide Oval has become one of the best places to watch and play AFL football in the country, how do you rate the place?
One of best spectacle, viewing grounds in Australia without a doubt.
Best of luck this season, Mitch, hopefully another big year for you and the Crows. How do you normally prepare on game day?
For me it’s pretty low key, I don’t try to get on my feet much, watch a bit of telly, any games that are on. I’m pretty calm in the rooms, no superstitions of the sort and get there a couple of hours before, watching the stress heads do their thing. I always have an omelette before a game and stay away from sports drinks because of my skinnies.
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