Alumni Fans

Remember when… Goo kicks a bag

The Saints could do no wrong in the first half of 2004.

Winning their first 10 matches of the season, their longest winning streak in its history at the time, St Kilda were rampaging towards a finals campaign.

It was a run that unearthed some hidden gems — one of those was Brent Guerra, who was in the midst of his most prolific period in front of goals.

The compact small forward kicked 20 goals in his first six games for the season and none were more impressive than his haul against the Eagles in Round 9.

Each week, will bring to light the perspective of someone at the heart of a memorable moment from a game played between two sides before their upcoming clash.

“Everything fell into place that day,” Guerra told

“We had a pretty good side in 2004 and when the ball is up your end of the ground, you get plenty of opportunities.

“I was lucky in that I played alongside Nick Riewoldt, Fraser Gehrig and Stephen Milne who got the majority of the opposition’s attention.”

That’s not to say decent players didn’t man Guerra throughout the period. On that day a certain star was sent to curb his influence.

Luckily for the left-footer, the Eagles defender was in an unfamiliar position.

“I was playing on Daniel Kerr that day. I think he was sent down back that day to improve the defensive side of his game,” Guerra added.

“I got my timing right because he never played back again after that.”

The result was seven goals straight for Guerra as the Saints slaughtered the Eagles by 101 points.

Guerra kicked four goals in the first half and three in the second, an even performance in front of the big sticks.

But as the dual premiership player explains, he got lucky a few times.

“I  vividly remember kicking over my head while lying on my back in the goal-square with 10 minutes to go in the last term.

“I might’ve pulled a couple of them out of my backside but everything seemed to click that day.”

There were snaps, set shots and the miracle goal mentioned above but his accuracy in front of goal was a staple of Guerra’s game.

In 2004, he kicked 29 goals and only five behinds — efficiency that any footballer would dream of.

Guerra credits St Kilda’s focus on goalkicking at training, which was driven by senior coach Grant Thomas, assistant coach Matt Rendell and senior players such as Aaron Hamill and Gehrig.

Incredibly, Guerra only managed one Brownlow Medal vote from the Round 9 clash, with three votes awarded to Nick Riewoldt, who took 15 marks and gathered 27 disposals.

“I thought I was pretty stiff that day,” Guerra laughed.

But with good performances comes more attention and as Guerra’s age ticked over to 22 the following week, the opposition didn’t let him slip under the radar anymore.

He managed to hit the scoreboard multiple times in a match only once more for the rest of the year – a four-goal haul in Round 16 against Richmond.

Guerra admits he didn’t adapt well to the extra attention and his time at the Saints ended the following year.

Things would work out well for the current Fremantle assistant coach, who crossed to the Hawks in 2006 and formed part of their successful backline until he retired with a premiership in 2013.

And although nothing will replace his two premiership medallions, he’ll always remember the match against West Coast in 2004 for a specific reason.

“Myself and Luke Hodge always had this competition about who could kick the most goals in a game and I pipped him on that. He only kicked six one day against the Bulldogs in 2007,” Guerra said.

“I can’t see him kicking seven in the next few weeks. That’s the only thing in football I have over him.”