Dawson: My best footy is ahead of me
Former St Kilda defender Zac Dawson, who has moved to Perth with the hope of starting a new career with the Fremantle Dockers, says his best football is ahead of him.
“As a slow maturer, my body is starting to fill out now and I’m quite confident the next two or three years will be my best footy,” he said from Fremantle Oval on Tuesday.
During 2011, the 25-year-old, who played in 77 games for the Saints including three Grand Finals, had been identified by Fremantle recruiters as a possible pick up in the NAB Pre-Season Draft, which will be held on 13 December.
Dawson said a phone call from his former coach Ross Lyon helped convince him to pack his bags and head out West.
“Ross and I have had a pretty good relationship throughout my career – he gave me another chance at St Kilda,” Dawson said of being rookie-listed by the Saints in 2008 after Hawthorn had delisted him in 2006.
“He gave me a call and said ‘are you willing to move across to Fremantle?’.
“I told him I was pretty happy to come across and move my life over here and commit myself to being here.
Dawson was full of praise for Lyon, who he said was a “driven” person.
“He knows what he wants,” he said.
“The one thing I regard pretty highly with him is that he lets you know where you stand. If he’s not happy he’ll tell you. If he is, he’ll let you know as well.
“He’s a good communicator and he’ll bring that to the group.”
Dawson said he was fully committed to becoming a Fremantle Docker and was grateful to the club and Lyon for believing in him.
“Getting a chance to come out here and train with Freo, I can’t thank them enough,” he said.
Apart from the weather, the thing that excites him the most about being at Fremantle is the youthful nature of the group.
“There’s a lot of talent here,” he said.
“I’m a keen watcher of footy, so just watching as an outsider over the past couple of years, I’ve seen them grow into a good group.
“I can feel the excitement amongst the group.”
Dawson hopes to bring with him the experience he had gained from his time at St Kilda.
“I’ve felt that in the last three years I’ve grown a fair amount from where I started,” he said.
“I’ve played in probably 10 finals and three grand finals and I feel like I did quite well over that period.
“This is a young and exciting group and, hopefully, I can bring a bit of experience.”
Dawson and his partner Sheena are currently looking into finding accommodation in Perth. She is due to move to Perth in January and has already secured employment in WA.