Freo's McManus to retire after WA derby - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Freo's McManus to retire after WA derby

By Justin Chadwick 28/07/2008 07:52:48 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has described retiring veteran Shaun McManus as "chapter one" of the club's history book after the 32-year-old announced Sunday's western derby encounter against West Coast would be his 228th and final AFL match.

Harvey said McManus, an inaugural Docker and regarded by many to be the club's favourite son, was a rock during troubled times and one of Fremantle's most inspirational players.

"When you look back at Fremantle and its inception, the place needed someone to stand up and Shaun's done that for 14 years now," Harvey said.

"When you coach Shaun, quite often I go to him to invigorate the team, and that's a fantastic trait to have.

"When they write the history books of Fremantle, Shaun will be chapter one of where it begun, and that's how I see Shaun.

"He will be missed because he brings the group together, and this footy club has had to be brought together over 14 years for various reasons."

McManus, who fought back from two knee reconstructions early in his career, said he finalised his plans to retire after a chat with Harvey a few weeks ago.

"It's going to be an emotional day but a great celebration," he said.

"I really believe I've put my heart and soul into being a member of this football club.

"It was a difficult decision to come to in the sense that you always want to play forever.

"The enjoyment I've had of putting on my jumper and representing the club ... has been amazing.

"I think that I've really given my heart and soul to this club . . . and I"m not sure if anyone before me has. I'm sitting next to the champ here Pav (Matthew Pavlich) and he's certainly on his way to doing that."

Fremantle's preliminary final appearance in 2006 was the closest McManus ever got to playing in a grand final.

But McManus, whose playing record of 90 wins and 137 losses is an indication of the tough times he has endured at the club, predicted Fremantle's current crop of players weren't that far away from tasting premiership glory.

"I'm confident that will happen soon," he said.

"When Fremantle wins their grand final . . . I'll be knocking Pav off the stage to f@#*ing hold the cup," he added with a laugh.

McManus said he was interested in pursuing a coaching career sometime in the future.

"It's definitely a realistic career path. I've got an enormous amount of, I wouldn't say expertise, but I've certainly been through the ringer," he said.

"If the young kids or the older guys have a problem or a difficulty I'm sure I've experienced it and can help them along the way in trying to move forward from that point."

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