Spurr seizes the moment
Three weeks ago Lee Spurr travelled to Melbourne with the team as an emergency for the round 16 match against Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.
The 25-year-old recruit last played in round 8 but hadn’t done enough in his first three games of AFL to lock down a spot in the side.
Spurr was the warm-up emergency for the game against the Demons – a role that demands a player to prepare in every way just as any selected player would.
“It’s tough to know you’re emergency and that there’s a very good chance you won’t play,” Spurr said.
“But there’s that slight chance, and that’s part of being a professional.
“You’ve got to prepare as if you’re going to play and do everything to the best of your ability.”
With the bounce down just minutes away, senior coach Ross Lyon called Spurr into the rooms and gave him a message.
“Ross called me into the rooms and told me you’re in and you’ll be playing in defence,” Spurr said.
Experienced defender Antoni Grover had injured himself in Fremantle’s warm-up on Etihad Stadium and had to be withdrawn.
“I had about five minutes to get my head around it and I was out there and playing,” Spurr added.
And play he did, mopping up around Freo’s half-back line with 19 disposals and 11 marks to be one of his side’s best in a win.
Last Saturday, Spurr played his fourth game in a row in the Carlton Mid Derby – his first match against West Coast.
“I ran out to a massive roar,” he said.
“It was the loudest crowd I’ve ever played in front of. It was unbelievable.”
Spurr contributed solidly in what he called a “united back six” as Freo won comfortably.
While he felt for Grover’s disappointment in round 16, Spurr admitted it was the opportunity he needed to get a look in.
“You have to take any small chance that presents and grab it with both hands,” he said.
“Hopefully I’m doing that and consolidating a position.”