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McManus backed to see out AFL season

By Justin Chadwick 21/07/2008 06:41:17 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle veteran Shaun McManus appears likely to play out the AFL season despite rumours suggesting the popular Docker was on the verge of announcing his intentions for a farewell game.

Speculation was rife that McManus would front the media on Monday to announce the round 18 western derby against West Coast would be his last appearance for the Dockers.

But instead it was Byron Schammer who fronted the cameras, expressing confidence his 32-year-old teammate would see out the season.

"Knowing Shaun as I do, I don't think he'll retire before the end of the year," Schammer said.

"I think he's a fighter and he's shown that in the last three or four years.

"People have probably written him off 10 times in the last four years and he just shows his character.

"He's a fighter and he'll always give it his all to the Fremantle football club for himself and his family, so he deserves to play every game for the rest of the year.

"I love playing with him and everybody else grows another leg when Shaun's playing."

McManus, who gathered 20 possessions and kicked a goal in Fremantle's win over Melbourne on Sunday, had his sons Lachlan, Cooper and Oliver with him for the club song, fuelling speculation he may call it quits without even a formal farewell game.

Schammer said it was just a case of McManus soaking up a rare win in his final season of football.

"That was his first win for the club this year," Schammer said.

"I think he was just a little bit emotional in that sense so hopefully we can win the rest of the home games this year and he can keep soaking up the atmosphere."

Meanwhile, Schammer will notch his 100th game when Fremantle tackle Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on Sunday.

Schammer, snared with pick No. 13 in the 2002 national draft, said the milestone seemed a long way off last year when he dropped a staggering 16kg after complications arose following a bout of routine surgery to remove his appendix.

"Laying in the hospital bed at the start of last year I definitely wouldn't have thought I would have reached my 100th game," he said.

"I definitely didn't feel 100 per cent at all last year. It probably wasn't until the end of pre-season this year that I felt absolutely 100 per cent fully fit."

The 23-year-old collected 27 disposals and kicked a goal in a display that featured flashes of brilliance combined with frustrating fumbles.

It was a performance that aptly reflected his career to date, with even the hard-running midfielder admitting consistency had been his Achilles heel.

"I probably would say I haven't reached where I wanted to reach in my 100 games but having said that I'm only 23 and there's a lot of potential there to improve," he said.

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