Mick finally set for a final
Michael Barlow gets goose bumps just thinking about the prospect of lining up for his first AFL final under lights at the MCG against the defending premiers.
The 24-year-old midfielder missed out on his dream of playing in September when a broken leg ended his season in 2010.
Barlow had to watch from the sidelines as his teammates won a memorable Elimination Final against Hawthorn at Subiaco Oval before being bundled out by Geelong the following week.
He said playing finals footy was a major driving force in getting him through his rehab and back on the field.
“Those first few games were a massive achievement for me and almost as significant as my debut game and getting drafted,” he said.
“Now to be involved in a side that’s going into finals is another step and another progression in my career.
“I’m really proud to be a part of a Fremantle football side that’s going into our fourth final series.”
Barlow said the team was told who it would be facing and where immediately after last Saturday night’s victory over Melbourne.
“It was a really euphoric feeling for me, knowing that you’re seven days away from your first AFL final.
“It was an amazing feeling but we can’t lose sight of the job at hand, and what we want to achieve and what we want to do out there. “
Barlow said, as always going into a final, there would be some players disappointed at missing out, just as he did two years ago.
But he hoped his attitude from 2010 would rub off on the unlucky ones.
“The challenge is for them to maintain an upbeat attitude and do what’s best for the club,” he said.
“It’s definitely about the 46 players on the list and the Fremantle Football Club as a whole rather than any one individual.”
Barlow said the club aimed to maintain a measured approach to Saturday’s final, but he admitted the game was significant.
“It’s a massive occasion for us and the more we can channel that emotion and excitement, I think the more we are going to benefit from that,” he said.
“It’s a real exciting time around the club, there’s a real buzz and I couldn’t be any happier at the moment.”