Dew surprised to make another final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dew surprised to make another final

By Robert Grant 22/09/2008 05:23:25 PM Comments (0)

Stuart Dew is as surprised as everyone else that he's preparing to line up in another AFL grand final.

A year ago, retired for 12 months after 10 years with Port Adelaide, Dew seemed like he was not missing any of the rigours of top-level football - his body was a startling testament to that.

His weight had ballooned to 120kg and his decision to come out of retirement took clubs by surprise.

But Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson, who had been impressed with Dew during his time as a Port Adelaide assistant coach, was prepared to take a punt in the national draft.

The 29-year-old, who was a member of the Power's 2004 premiership side - and the only Hawk to have played in a grand final - spent up to five days a week training over the pre-season.

His weight dropped to around 95kg and he was ready to unleash that booming left foot on the opposition but almost immediately he was in trouble.

A hamstring injury, which he said was not unexpected, sent Dew to the sidelines for a month in round two. He has fought small injury problems since but is now set to play an important role in Hawthorn's bid to topple Geelong in Saturday's grand final.

"It's another opportunity to achieve your dream," Dew said.

"It's been a long year for myself from where I was last year. I wouldn't have thought I'd be in this position."

Dew adds valuable grand final experience and has advised his young teammates to do everything to capitalise on the situation on Saturday.

"I have tried to stress to the group that you never know, some guys never get to play in one so it's not enough to get in the grand final - you've got to make the most of it," he said.

"Leave everything out on the ground. You can't walk off thinking we'll be back here next year because odds are you won't be, so that's the attitude we'll take in."

Dew said he was impressed by the way Hawthorn had worked through its two finals leading up to the grand final.

"We've handled the two finals so far really well. Finals is played a lot above the shoulders, it's how you approach the game mentally and (is about) the side that settles the quickest.

"Obviously we're stepping up another level against Geelong so we'll be tested but I'm really confident the group can come out with a good attitude and start well.

"I've noticed that winning the first final was just ticking the box and again on the weekend because the group's ready to have an attack on the premiership ... it's how you approach each final to get yourself in this position and I think the attitude's right.

"It's not a celebration at all to get in the grand final and you don't want to be on the losers' list."

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