WAGGA footballer Matt Suckling is loving every minute of his new role as a Hawthorn forward as the Hawks prepare for a shot at a premiership three-peat on Saturday.
Suckling is set for his third AFL grand final appearance after the Hawks conquered Perth with a preliminary final win over minor premiers Fremantle last Friday night.
Suckling was instrumental in the 27-point victory with two goals, including a monster from outside 50 after the three-quarter-time siren.
The 27-year-old has relished the new opportunity up forward and is feeling rejuvenated ahead of Saturday’s AFL grand final against West Coast.
I’ve enjoyed the change,” Suckling said.
“It’s a bit of a relief I suppose, playing half back, you really do have to concentrate on your man first and when you’re playing forward it’s the other way around.
“So it’s been nice to get up the ground and run around like a bit of a free spirit.”
Suckling is happy with the form he will take into the decider.
“Yeah I think from the halfway mark of the season, I started to get a bit more consistent,” he said.
“The first final was pretty disappointing over there but the last two finals have been pretty good.
“On the weekend I was happy with how I played.
“Hopefully I can kick a couple of snags this weekend.”
As West Coast prepare for their first grand final in close to a decade, Hawthorn will saddle up for their fourth straight decider.
Suckling said while experience will help, it is impossible not to get caught up in the big week.
“It’s obviously been an exciting weekend and getting ready for a busy week, a really exciting one,” he said.
“It’s still exciting as ever, I don’t think anyone could get comfortable or used to grand finals, it’s an exciting time of year and it’s a real privilege to be part of it again.”
Suckling said it helps to know what to expect, so experience will count for something.
“This is our fourth grand final in a row and a lot of the boys have been there for all four,” he said.
“I suppose you just know how to attack the week, you get rid of all the stress with the tickets and things like that, get that knocked over early in the week and then you can just really enjoy it for what it is.
“The best part of being involved in it for a few years is you know how to enjoy the week.”
Suckling will have the support of his parents Barry and Karen, sister Jess, girlfriend Brittney, along with a few others at the grand final.
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