This article was originally published in August 2015.
Shane Savage is enjoying his most consistent AFL season yet.
And the secret to his success – or at least one of them – is his seven-month-old son Jett.
Savage and his partner, Sarah, had their first child in January.
“I just love coming home and being able to switch off from footy and play with my kid. It’s good to not have to focus on that sort of (footy) stuff.” – shane savage
“He is seven months now. He’s been a bit cheeky lately, not giving me much sleep, but he’s been amazing. He’s growing up too quick actually. I want him to stay small, he’s really cute,” Savage told aflplayers.com.au.
“I just love coming home and being able to switch off from footy and play with my kid. It’s good to not have to focus on that sort of (footy) stuff.
“When I didn’t have him I was coming home and stressing out a little bit too much.
“I feel like I have had my most consistent season and having him around has been a big part of that. It’s definitely helped.”
Savage is adamant the balance in his life – combined with an injury-free pre-season, a move down back, and the faith of his coach – has helped him elevate his game.
He has played 16 matches in 2015 to bring his career tally to 86 in total, which included 56 games in four years at Hawthorn from 2009.
While grateful for the start the Hawks gave him, Savage is now a Saint through and through.
“I feel like I’m red, white and black now.
“I am a big part of this Saints journey right now and we are on the right track. I am really happy to be here.”
Savage is also happy to be in Australia, while his roots remain across the ditch. He was born in New Zealand, moved to Melbourne when he was two years old, and loved going “home” to play for the Saints in the past two Anzac Day clashes.
Savage is one of many multicultural players in the AFL; 14 per cent of current players were born overseas or have one parent who was born overseas. That group, as well as the AFL’s multicultural connections, will be celebrated across Round 19.
“It is a great way to celebrate the many different cultures in our game,” Savage said.
“It’s great to see so many cultures come together to share the one passion which is the game of AFL.”