Dempster delighted with recall - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dempster delighted with recall

By Melissa Woods 25/09/2009 02:58:49 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda tagger Sean Dempster says his inclusion in the line-up to meet Geelong in Saturday's AFL grand final caught him by surprise.

Dempster was recalled at the expense of youngster Robert Eddy, Saints coach Ross Lyon counting on his big-game experience.

He is one of only four St Kilda players with previous experience of the biggest match on the AFL calendar, having played in Sydney's winning side in 2005 and the losing one in 2006 before joining St Kilda last year.

Dempster ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in round 22, which ruled him out of last year's finals.

The 25-year-old didn't return to senior action until round 15 this season but, after been overlooked for the club's two finals, said he was thrilled to then be included.

"It was totally unexpected but I'm totally excited," Dempster said during Friday's grand final parade.

"I obviously feel pretty bad for Rob Eddy being dropped but I just want to take the opportunity and I can't wait for tomorrow.

"I'm absolutely excited to be part of it again, I've been here before and I can't wait."

Lyon was an assistant coach at Sydney during their 2005 title and 2006 defeat, and Dempster said the coach had used that experience during the build-up to this grand final.

"Having Ross at Sydney, he's been able to keep it pretty similar so it feels more like a round 26 match rather than a grand final and we've kept it a bit more level.

"You can't get too overwhelmed by the situation, obviously days like today's parade aren't the norm."

Dempster said the biggest difference in the side's preparation for the game was the focus from fans.

"I suppose there's a little bit more focus and the build-up in Melbourne is pretty big, compared to Sydney where everyone's into rugby," he said.

"Having 10,000 at training on Tuesday night compared to a couple of hundred with the Swans, that was something a little bit different.

"But the team is treating it exactly the same and trying to just keep a level head and not get too excited."

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