Before he caught the eye of Geelong recruiters in 2007, Shane Mumford was just a big kid playing footy in the country.
But he wasn’t like any kid blessed with tall-timber genes and coaches immediately recognised his talent.
The 29-year-old’s former senior coach at Bunyip David Papley – father of Sydney Swans rising star Tom – told Aflplayers.com.au they knew they would have a player on their hands if he got his attitude right.
“You could just tell he was going to be something. Obviously being 6 ft 7 inches at 16 years old, you’re going to do something and he had a great footy brain,” Papley said.
“Those days, I don’t think Shane was 100 per cent keen for footy, he was more of a party animal and I’m sure he would be fine with me saying that.
“But he was similar to the way Tom plays with second efforts and that comes back to country footy – if you want the footy, you have to go and get it.”
Mumford recently signed a two-year contract extension, tying him to the club until the end of 2018 and effectively ensuring he will finish his AFL career as a Giant.
He was selected by the Cats as the sixth-last player taken in the 2008 rookie draft before being traded to Sydney after two seasons. Mumford spent four years at the Swans culminating in a premiership in 2012 before moving across town to the Giants and winning their best-and-fairest award in 2014.