Sharp’s season to remember

Lachlan Sharp takes on Eaglehawk defender Lachlan Atherton. Picture: GLENN DANIELS
Lachlan Sharp takes on Eaglehawk defender Lachlan Atherton. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Footballer makes stunning comeback from knee injury, wins the league’s most prestigious individual trophy, kicks more goals than any other player and wins his club the premiership by kicking five goals in the final quarter.

Even a Hollywood script writer would find that to be too far-fetched for the big screen.

Well, the opening paragraph is Lachlan Sharp’s footy season in a nutshell – Michelsen Medal, Ron Best Medal, AFL Victoria Medal and, most importantly, premiership medal.

The Strathfieldsaye Storm forward capped one of the most remarkable individual seasons in BFNL history with a match-winning performance in Saturday’s grand final against Eaglehawk.

The close-checking of gallant Eaglehawk teenager Lachlan Atherton and a hamstring twinge in the second quarter restricted Sharp to 1.3 in the first three quarters of the grand final.

What followed in the next 30 minutes is why Sharp is one of the greats of the competition.

With his side trailing by 20 points, the left-footer turned the game on its head with five of the Storm’s nine final term goals.

“I love the club, I love the people at the club and I couldn’t be happier to represent them each week,’’ an elated Sharp said after the win.

“That’s all that matters to me.”

Sharp’s final quarter heroics helped get his best mate Ben Lester a long-awaited premiership medal.

Lester missed the Storm’s first two flags because of knee injuries.

“To watch him miss the first two flags really hurt,’’ Sharp said.

“To see him with a medal around his neck right now is my proudest moment.”

Sharp said he was always confident the Storm would win, even when they trailed by 20 points at the last change.

“At three quarter-time I honestly felt we had the legs to overrun them in the final quarter,’’ he said.

“Our midfield is so tremendous. When they get on a run and get the ball in quickly then it’s going to give our forwards a chance and make it harder for the defenders.

“We kicked a few quick goals at the start of the final quarter and got some momentum.

“We have a lot of big game players in this team and I was always confident we could get the job done.”

Sharp’s six-goal haul on Saturday took his season tally to 142 – the eighth best return in BFNL history.

It’s hard to see how he could improve on this season next year.

“I’ll just take my footy week-by-week, you never know what’s around the corner,’’ Sharp said.

“We’ll enjoy this win, take a couple of weeks off and then get back into it for next year.”

Sharp is a very keen Richmond fan. With the football year he’s had, you’d expect he’ll be celebrating a long-awaited Tiger premiership next Saturday as well.