McGough eyes new prize
McGough eyes new prize

For more than a decade, Mark McGough has been known in football circles for winning the Anzac Medal as a second-game player with Collingwood.

Tomorrow, he plans to change that by adding another major accolade to his resume.

McGough will line up for East Fremantle in the grand final against Claremont at Patersons Stadium looking to become the port club's first premiership captain since Stephen Bilcich in 1998.

But he will do so without teammate and close friend Jack Perham standing alongside.

Perham's was one of the hard luck stories of grand final week, the young forward ruled out with concussion after playing 20 games this season.

Claremont captain Andrew Browne will also miss the game after failing to overcome a ham- string injury.

McGough, who lives with Perham and Sharks defender Andrew Stephen, pulled his unlucky housemate aside during the week to let him know how important he was to the side.

Perham's commitment to a contest with Swan Districts defender Tallan Ames during last week's preliminary final epitomised the way East Fremantle have endeavoured to play all year, but it ultimately cost him a place in the grand final.

"It takes a lot more than the 22 that run out on the ground to win a premiership," McGough said.

"I said to Jack that he's a huge part of the club and what he did in sacrificing himself for us was really inspirational.

"He should never not feel part of it.

"There will be two or three guys, and it's the same with Claremont, that will just miss out on the game.

"But it's not just the 22 that run out on the ground, and Jack has been a huge part of our year in getting us to this position."

Perham attended the Sandover Medal count on Monday night and tried to convince the selectors he was fit to play, but doctors said otherwise.

"He wanted to play and he sort of can't understand why he's been ruled out," McGough said.

"But if you've been knocked out for three or four minutes, I don't think there's any sort of medical way where he'd be allowed to play."

Browne's disappointment in missing the grand final through injury mirrored that of former Tigers captain Clancy Rudeforth, who missed the 2010 decider with a broken jaw despite a late bid to play.

Browne, who spent eight injury-riddled years on Fremantle's list, tested the hamstring on Wednesday night but was ruled out.

He will play a role in assisting coach Marc Webb.

"I've probably fallen about a week short in getting up for this weekend, which is obviously pretty disappointing," Browne said.

"I didn't honestly hold out a lot of hope after doing a hammy in the second semi, given my history.

"I gave it a chance on Wednesday night and it just didn't come up to the standard it needed to.

"These are the games you want to play in and it will be something that hurts for a while.

"But whether I run out with the 22 on the day or not, I still feel part of the side and I feel like I've contributed well throughout the year."

East Fremantle midfielder Richard Hadley will not train with the main group this morning. He faces a fitness test this afternoon after damaging ankle ligaments during the preliminary final.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West