Jeremy McGovern’s earliest football memories are of running around the Fremantle rooms chasing a ball at the feet of Dockers players.
His father, Andrew, played 83 AFL games. The first 20 came at Sydney before he returned to his native Western Australia to play for Claremont under Gerard Neesham. A year later he joined Neesham, Fremantle’s inaugural coach, at the Dockers and added a further 63 games at the top level.
“I loved as a little kid going to watch my old man play, seeing the other boys he played with, catching up with them and seeing them in the change rooms. It was always good.” – Jeremy mcgovern
Jeremy and his brother Mitch, who is on Adelaide’s list, were surrounded by the game as children. It probably helps explain why the West Coast defender plays the game so naturally in an era of structure and process.
“I loved as a little kid going to watch my old man play, seeing the other boys he played with, catching up with them and seeing them in the change rooms. It was always good,” McGovern told aflplayers.com.au.
“My old man played for Freo and Sydney … I always wanted to play footy when I was older.
“I come from a country town in Albany (400km south of Perth). It was a big lifestyle change coming up and it took me a few years to (adapt).
“The club always said to me it would take me a fair while. I am just grateful they backed me in for as long as they did.”
This season has been a breakout one for the key defender.
McGovern’s progress was recognised by the All Australian selectors, who named him in the squad of 40 this week.
2015 has been a productive season for the 23-year-old away from the field too.
The former electrician has established West End Plumbing and is finding the distraction of “a real job” beneficial to his on-field performance.
“You can get away from footy a bit. Even though you’re probably stressing about work a little bit, and the business, at least you’re not stressing about other things about footy.
“Trying to get that balance right is probably the main thing.”