Club legends the Mayne inspiration
With Parker retiring after a then-club-record 238 appearances, Mayne took over the number 23 after being selected with pick 40 in the 2007 AFL National Draft.
“”He’s a champion, and for me to wear it, I’ve been so privileged,” Mayne said of Parker.
“Hopefully I can follow in his footsteps in a way.
“He was a defender and I’m a forward, so we’ve given the jumper a bit of a run around the ground.”
Mayne said, while he’d only met Parker on a couple of occasions, it was the esteem that Freo’s senior players held him in that made him realise what sort of player Parker was.
“You speak to blokes like Luke McPharlin and Roger Hayden and they’ve just got so much respect for him because of the way he conducted himself on the field,” Mayne said.
“I’d like to respect the jumper and what he did for it as well.
“Whenever I put the purple jumper on, I go out there and play like it’s my last because I have respect for the club that gave me the opportunity to live my dream, wearing the number 23.”
Mayne also labelled the recent form of the man that overtook Parker’s club games record, Matthew Pavlich, as inspirational.
The Freo captain has booted 14 goals in the past three matches, including a match-winning haul of six against Richmond at the MCG in round 11 and five against Collingwood on Saturday.
“He is a champion of the game and to see him lead from the front for us is what we need,” Mayne said.
“It kind of makes you think you want to do the same thing. You want to respect him by giving even harder effort.
“So when you get the opportunity to dive in, tackle or run down someone, it just comes naturally.”