09 Jul Luke Mann on the rise
The Bell Post Hill football team have had a very tough year in 2019, as the amazing era in the clubs history of 7 premierships and 8 consecutive Grand Finals has now closed. 14 premiership players left the club after last season’s preliminary final loss to Thomson and a wave of injuries have further hampered the current year’s progress. Out of all the bad news there are little successes that the Panthers will build on to commence a new period in the clubs history. One of those positive stories came out of last week’s inspiring victory over Geelong West. After being a regular member of a highly successful reserves team at Bell Post Hill for 6 years, Luke Mann stepped out of the shadows to produce a match winning 6 goal performance to stamp his arrival as a genuine GDFL 1st 18 player.
Luke arrived at the club after completing his junior football at North Geelong, but found it difficult to find a spot in the powerful Panthers senior line up. He stands at 187 cms and plays mainly as a key forward, but is very able to take some pressure of the main ruckman for periods of the game. Centre Half Forward seemed to be his regular spot in the reserves while his game developed, but he has found a niche playing more as a deep forward in 2019. While he is capable of taking a strong mark, it is his agility and ability to time his leads that is the hallmark of his game.
His long time reserves coach Nathan McLure rates him very highly and suggested his development would have come sooner with more opportunity. “He was used sparingly in the senior team, but it was usually to cover for an injury to a regular player and then quickly returned to the seconds,” Nathan said. “With a more sustained run at it, he would have played a lot of good senior footy already I’m sure. I’m really thrilled to see him finally being a regular in the team and I’m sure we will hear a lot more about him from now on.”
Luke was very happy with last week’s win and felt it had been building for some time. “We had a good feeling all through the game and at three quarter time the boys were all confident we could still win despite being a bit behind,” he said “I managed to kick three in the last quarter, so it was great to be able to contribute so well after a horror start with my kicking early in the game.”
Internally the club is confident this unusual period in the bottom half of the ladder will be short lived and Luke Mann is one of the younger players the club is banking on being part of the next successful period in the clubs history.