Magpie Davis eyes WA homecoming
Leon Davis has not ruled out drawing the curtain on his brilliant Collingwood career at the end of this season and could finish his football fairytale back home in WA.
Davis, who flew to Perth yesterday to spend time with his family before tomorrow night’s clash with Fremantle at Patersons Stadium, said he owed a deep debt of gratitude to Collingwood, coach Mick Malthouse and assistant coach Scott Watters for breathing new life into his career.
Almost certain to this year add an All-Australian gong as a defender to his 2009 honour as a forward, Davis said his devotion to his WA family meant he would consider any approach from West Coast or Fremantle when his contract expired at the end of this season.
The 30-year-old, whose 221 games place him in Collingwood’s all-time top 20 for matches played, said he was desperate to return to his home State when his career ended. But he stressed that decision would be made regardless of whether he achieved premiership redemption after cruelly missing out on the Magpies’ flag win last year.
Davis kicked what appeared to be the winning goal in last season’s tied grand final against St Kilda before enduring the heartbreak of being left out of the following week’s victorious team.
He said that while he had not yet committed to ending his 12-year stint with Collingwood, a recent chat with Malthouse had forced him to expedite his plans for what life after football might hold.
Davis felt he owed it to his children Shakari, 7, and Levi, 4, to consider a move home to enjoy the formative part of their lives with their 15 cousins from his four siblings.
“I’m still not too sure about coming home to play, but if something was to come up I’d definitely look at it,” Davis said.
“But even if we were to win a flag, a lot of things could happen in my situation at the moment. It’s something I don’t have a lot of answers to right now. I’ll go over it at the end of the year with my family and see what I want to get out of it, if the body is feeling fine.
“If the want isn’t there and the work ethic isn’t there, then I know I’ll let the team down. I won’t put myself in that situation.
“If we’ve won the flag or not, that’s not going to make any difference because I know the body is getting older and I know the hard work I’ll have to put in.
“When it’s over, I’ll definitely look to come home to have some time off with my family to make up for time lost with them. I’ll know when it’s my time and I know it’s a decision I’ll make at the right time.
“Mick asked me about what I’d do after footy a few weeks ago and it was something I wasn’t really prepared for, but whether it be coaching or playing in the WAFL … it’s something I’ll definitely consider.”
Davis revealed he couldn’t escape his 2010 premiership heartache.
“I walk in every day and I see the (premiership) cup out the front and all the merchandising in the shop, and when the jumper gets passed around that people want signed for the premiership team, it gets passed by me,” he said.