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The Master becomes the Teacher

Leigh Meyrick  October 23, 2017 4:15 PM


Retiring ruckman Shane Mumford doesn't think Dawson Simpson and Rory Lobb will be laughing after he gets his hands on them in his new role as the GIANTS' ruck coach.

Obviously the last few years I’ve been trying to help the young guys already but I’m really looking forward to pushing Lobby and Flynny and big Dawson (Simpson) and trying to get the best out of them.

Retiring ruckman Shane Mumford has issued former team mate Rory Lobb a warning - prepare yourself for your hardest pre-season yet.

While he’s retired after a decorated 172 game AFL career, Mumford won’t be lost to football with the 31-year old stepping into a part-time coaching role as ruck coach at the GIANTS. 

Lobb was selected to fill the number one ruck spot in the finals when Mumford was struck down by injury, and the retiring big man has thrown his full support behind the 206cm tall West Australian to lead the GIANTS in 2018.

“He’s been telling me all year that he’s been coming for the (number one ruck) spot so he’s finally got his wish,” Mumford said with a smirk.

“We saw in the last couple of games of the year when he did get his chance just how good the footy he can play is, so I have no doubt that after I really rip into him next pre-season that he’ll come out flying.”

Lobb averaged 35-hit outs per match in the two finals he rucked and is expected to spend more time in the centre circle next season after two standout seasons, mainly as a forward.

Lobb won’t be the only ruckman to continue working with Mumford with Dawson Simpson another player expected to fill the void.

Simpson has only played two AFL games in his two seasons at the GIANTS but the 28-year old has been a wonderful understudy of Mumford in his time at the WestConnex Centre.

When called upon to make his debut for the club in round 19, Simpson had 44 hit outs against Fremantle before backing up a fortnight later with another 33 hit outs against the Bulldogs.

Despite only limited game time in recent seasons, Simpson was one of the most consistent performers in the NEAFL and was rewarded at the Kevin Sheedy Medal with the EFEX Coaches Award.

After two seasons at the club, 20-year old ruckman Matthew Flynn has impressed many at the GIANTS and is expected to take his game to another level in 2018. 

With long term assistant coach Dean Brogan stepping away from football and returning to Adelaide, Coach Leon Cameron is delighted to be able to call upon Mumford’s knowledge to help the ruck brigade.

“I’m rapt to have him be part of our coaching staff as a ruck coach because that energy and ‘never say die attitude’ is just outstanding and if Flynny, Dawson Simpson  and Rory Lobb take a little bit out of that then it makes them better players,” said Cameron. 

List Manager Craig Cameron has also hinted that another ruckman could be added to the GIANTS through the NAB AFL Draft or the delisted free agency period.  

Like everything he did during his 10 year playing career, expect to see Mumford give his all to his new role as ruck coach.

“Obviously the last few years I’ve been trying to help the young guys already but I’m really looking forward to pushing Lobby and Flynny and big Dawson (Simpson) and trying to get the best out of them,” said Mumford. 

“I see that the club is going in the right direction and success is just around the corner and I’m very grateful I’ll still be a part of it.”

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