Melbourne Demons star Jake Lever explains his unique premiership celebration
Amid Melbourne’s wild grand final celebrations on Optus Stadium on Saturday night, defender Jake Lever looked around and couldn’t see any of his premiership teammates.
The players had received their medals, posed for several photos with the premiership cup as a group and embarked on their treasured lap of honour.
But while most players walked or jumped onto the fence to celebrate with fans, Lever sprinted a lap of the oval, high-fiving as many people as he could.
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As he completed his lap and reached the interchange bench, the entire team was still on the other side of the field. Lever said he’d been extremely excited about thanking the fans, and apparently far quicker than his mates.
“The crowd, they brought so much to us,” Lever said.
“Back home, there would be so many people who would have wanted to be here watching. The Perth crowd really gave us so much support. My shoulder was quite sore after the end of the game.
“I was trying to run around giving everyone high-fives. The crowd is a bit higher at Optus Stadium than it is at the ‘G. I had to lift my arm up for a fair while.”
Lever eventually ran back across the oval to be with his teammates and conducted his encore lap of honour at a much slower pace.
But he then relished a third opportunity to soak up the win on the field, with all players and coaches returning after 10pm and spending more than an hour in the centre square dancing, hugging, singing and commemorating their magic night.
Having lost a grand final with Adelaide, Lever wanted to make the most of the biggest moment of his career.
“We stayed until about 12 o’clock,” Lever said.
“We just sat out on the ground with the cup in the middle, sang the song about five or six times and then went back into the changerooms and really celebrated with everyone, including all of the staff which is probably the best moment in footy I’ve ever had.”
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