No surprise Hill Norm Smith Medal performance
WA football legend Peter Sumich says he was not surprised to see Bobby Hill win the Norm Smith Medal by performing on the biggest stage.
The Northam and Perth Football Club product capped off his first season with the Magpies by winning the medal with a four-goal, 18-disposal performance in their four-point grand final win over Brisbane on Saturday.
Sumich, who coached Hill in WA’s under-18’s side, told Sports Breakfast he was delighted to see him taking full advantage of his talents.
“He always had it, this is not being negative, he was a little bit of a smart arse, ‘I’ll get it done, leave it to me, I know what to do’, that kind of talk,” Sumich said.
“His pace is really his one wood, he can defend as well as attack. He seemed to be running the same speed from the start to the finish, where others were lacking a bit of energy at the end of the game, he was still up and about.
“He was switched on, wasn’t he. His mental game was at the highest level, that was pleasing to see.”
Collingwood captain Darcy Moore attracted more plaudits for thanking the club’s past players during his post-game speech, with Sumich praising the key defender’s leadership.
“One thing most Melbourne clubs do well, and this is where West Coast and Fremantle can get better, is the acknowledgement of the past players,” he said.
“Darcy Moore, to acknowledge that in a high regard, it wasn’t just a throwaway line, it was huge the way he acknowledged past players of Collingwood and what they’ve done for the club.
“That’s where you see the passion … they’re young clubs, West Coast and Fremantle, but there’s no excuse not to up the ante with what past players have done for both those clubs.”
With an exciting 2023 football season coming to an end, Sumich said he felt the game was in a good space going forward.
“You can turn the tap off and on during a game, coaches are a bit more out there,” he said.
“I think it’s turning, it’s an enjoyment game now. People just want to see the players enjoy it.
“I think the generational turn here is that win, lose, or draw, be happy, be energetic about the game of footy and where it’s going. I think that’s what’s happening, Collingwood are the trend-setters right now.”
IMAGE: The Age Newspaper