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Jacob Plunkett-Latimer - 150 Games

Jacob Plunkett-Latimer – 150 Games

What does it mean to you to be playing your 150th match for the Swans?

At the moment it still feels a bit surreal. On one level, I recognize a lot has happened since I started but it still feels like the time has gone by so fast. Playing the Canada Day Cup makes it that much more special. I think my first proper game was the inaugural Canada Day Cup and it’s pretty amazing to be hitting 150 with that game 16 years later.

 

Comparing yourself today to Jacob playing his first Aussie rules match, how much has changed?

I think the biggest change has just been the increase in confidence in the sport. Seeing how well our team has developed and getting to play in so many different situations over the years has definitely helped me feel more stable and a little less lost in the mayhem of the game. As you get better at reading the flow of the game, the chaos seems to slow down a bit. My only issue now is making sure I don’t slow down too much.

In the time you’ve been with the Swans, which moment (or moments) brings you the most joy?

There have been a lot. Our first win and definitely our first premiership are pretty close to the top of the list. There were a lot of games where we didn’t have a lot of points but I got tremendous satisfaction from knowing we were a team I could be proud to play for and that is worth a lot. More recently, getting to introduce my son to the game and seeing his excitement when we play has definitely brought a lot of joy as well.

Jacob Plunkett-Latimer - 150 Games

With your knowledge and experience in the sport, what would you say is your greatest strength and how do you better the players around you?

My hope is that I help carry forward the Swans ethos we’ve developed over the years. I try to play with tenacity and sportsmanship and I think that kind of modeling is how you build and maintain such a strong culture.

 

If we were to fast forward a few years, where do you want this club to be?

I think we are going to still be going strong, still developing great Canadian players and still creating an environment that everyone who sees us, wants to be a part of.

 

Lastly, whenever you decide to hang up the boots, will we see you in a managerial/coaching position?

I’ll check back on this one once I get a few more games under my belt

Jacob Plunkett-Latimer - 150 Games

Coach Jordan Harcombe and the two players with more than 100 appearances each, Yaser Abou Elenein and Michael Beall, also wanted to share their sentiment regarding Jacob’s 150th match. Jordan said, “He’s a legend and is going to set a mark for our club that may never be matched. 150 games is a ton of footy for anyone and when the seasons are 10-12 games max, that’s a long time to play. He’s a foundational pillar of our club, he’s been here since day one and one of the reasons that I keep coming back and playing every game as hard as I can. A lot of guys put in a ton of effort for years just to establish this club and make it survive the lean years. That was so the next generation of Swans had a club to play for and became, arguably, the best club in the country for a few years. I wanted to win a premiership for him and the other guys who laid the groundwork for us and I know I’m not alone in that feeling. I have so much respect and love for all of those guys and we, as a club, owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. Jako is still there every Saturday, in red and white, and I try to show him my thanks by playing my heart out when I’m on the field and honour the traditions that he and our predecessors set for our club. On top of it all, he might still be getting better, which is nuts!”

 

Yaser shared his thoughts also, saying, “Jacob’s 150th shows the amazing dedication he has to our football club. To be the first player to hit the milestone just shows his outstanding endurance and physical shape he has been in throughout his career. Jacob has seen the highest of highs and lowest of lows with the club, I find he is a calming influence on myself and others because of that experience. Regardless of anything going on in a have, Jako is the definition of cool, calm and collected.”

 

Michael spoke about his admiration for commitment and resilience, saying “In playing his 150th game, Jako is demonstrating two fundamental virtues of being a Swan: love of the game and commitment. The goal of this club, and of footy in Canada in general, is to grow the sport within our community. I’ve seen many Canadians give this sport a shot for a year or two then hang up the cleats. Those are success stories nonetheless, but it’s a rare find to come across a Canadian who picked up the sport here in Canada and has played for 150-plus games over a 15-year span or more. The second quality, commitment, can be hard to find in amateur sports. It comes from more than just loving the game; it comes from pride in your own growth, loyalty to your teammates, and a willingness to make many sacrifices. Fittingly, these are things I’ve seen since the first day I joined the club too, back in 2010. 150 games is not a target for Jako; it’s just another ‘day at the office’. For us, it’s an example of what it means to be a Swan! He’s so positive and encouraging but he does so mainly in the one-on-one interactions he has with his teammates. He has the heart of a footy player for sure and Jako also reminds us how to be good teammates to each other. The other outstanding impact is one I’ve already mentioned: dedication, especially on the field. It’s rare to hear that he won’t be at practice or that he’s missing a game, and this is especially impressive considering he’s traveling from the darkest depths of the Gatineau hills! The three qualities that I admire are his stamina, humility, and flexibility. I think his influence is best felt as a teammate who puts 100% on the field each practice and game. I have never felt that he looks down on others, especially new players. He stands shoulder-to-shoulder with you, and that’s what I’ve loved most about him.”

 

– Ali Boty

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