Third time’s a charm

March 18, 2024 2:10 pm in by
Geelong debutant Shaun Mannagh receives his jumper from Bell Park coach James Saker. (Michael Willson/AFL Photos)

Bell Park coach James Saker can lay claim to a unique trifecta after presenting Geelong draftee Shaun Mannagh with his jumper before his AFL debut last Saturday night.

Saker, whose football journey has taken in the Ovens and Murray league and VFL, presented Mannagh with his guernsey before debuting with Lavington and Werribee, respectively.

Saker was coaching Lavington and an assistant coach at Werribee on those occasions.

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“It was very humbling to be asked,” Saker said of Saturday night.

“He’s a terrific young man, and I don’t think anyone could begrudge for making the elite level after the pathway he’s had.

“It was a very humbling experience, and I’m very grateful Shaun gave me the nod.

“I’ll hold onto that one for a while.”

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At both Lavington and Werribee, Mannagh kicked six goals in a grand final, a feat Saker hopes Mannagh can replicate in the Hoops.

“If we can keep the trend going, I’m sure we’ll both be very happy,” Saker said.

“So would half of Geelong.”

X: @krockfootball