Long to present AFL's Norm Smith Medal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Long to present AFL's Norm Smith Medal

By Greg Buckle 06/09/2011 06:21:16 PM Comments (0)

Essendon great Michael Long will never forget the day his childhood hero Maurice Rioli presented him with the 1993 Norm Smith Medal.

Long has been given the honour of presenting this year's Norm Smith Medal to the player adjudged best-afield in the AFL grand final on October 1 at the MCG.

And while Long hopes his old side the Bombers can stage an unlikely winning run all the way from the elimination final to a flag, the former speedster is thrilled simply to have a role on the game's showpiece day.

"I can still remember Maurice playing (for Richmond) and receiving the medal in 1982," Long said on Tuesday.

"Just about everyone in Darwin was watching Maurice Rioli play in that grand final. It was a time when there wasn't a lot of players from the NT (Northern Territory).

"To play in a grand final and be presented one (Norm Smith Medal) by a role model of mine, Maurice Rioli who passed away late last year...

"It is something special, grand finals. You share a bit of emotion on that day because it's something quite special.

"I'd love it to be Essendon. But any player who has played in this competition and given their heart and soul and blood sweat and tears and gone through injuries.

"It's a great achievement for any player to play in a grand final, let alone win one as well."

Carlton's 1979 premiership captain-coach Alex Jesaulenko will present the Jock McHale Medal to the winning coach on grand final day.

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