1 ON 1: MATT SUCKLING
3/08/2011 2:58:31 PM
SUCKLING QUICKLY STAMPING HIS AUTHORITY ON SANFL
After a roller coaster ride in football Mat Suckling has impressive during the first half on his initial season at The Parade.
The strongly build member of the on-ball division at Norwood has impressed many judges with his fierce attack on the ball and love to the physical contest.
He has quickly fitted in the mid-fielder rotations at the club and has been impressed with the forthrightness of senior coach Nathan Bassett.
“Naturally I love the fact that he’s given me this fantastic opportunity,” Suckling said.
“‘Bass’ is so honest when he speaks to you.
“He calls it as he sees it because he wants to get the best out of you.
“That’s why he a player’s coach, as the entire playing group play for him.”
Suckling was pro-active in an effort to kick-start his career, sending out email to a number of SANFL’s and Norwood got him over for a couple of training sessions.
“Mat is here for the right reasons,” coach Bassett said.
“He has been a valuable addition to our on-ball rotations.
“Strong at the content and having clean hands, he always looking to improve and is not short of questions.
“Along with Jace Bode and Darren Pfeiffer, he has been valuable additions to our group after the players we had picked up in last year’s draft.
“Mat is quickly becoming a senior member of our group and does all the little things right.”
Suckling grew up in Bacchus Marsh and started his football with the Melton Bloods.
He explained that his under 15s premiership mentor Noel Kitchen was important in his football development.
“We moved to the city because dad (Barry) was sick and I went to Carey Grammar, playing first XVIII football in year 11 and 12,” the Norwood number 21 explained.
“I was involved in a Vic Metro state under 16 side which won the national title in ‘05.
“Our team included Matthew Kreuzer, Sam Sheldon, Andrejs Everitt, James Polkinghorne and Jarrad Grant.
“The strength of our defence can be explained by a game against South Australia - where we only had 37 inside 50’s compared with their 62 - and still won by 21 points.
“There were a number of talents in that group and I remember saying on a TAC television program that Matt Kreuzer was going to at number one in 2007 draft.
Suckling has three years at the Sandringham Dragons in the TAC starting in 2006, but early in the critical 2007 winter, he endured an ACL injury, finishing his season.
He played the followed year (2008) as a overage player, Suckling collected the Dragons best and fairest award.
At Sandringham Suckling explained that former Collingwood, Fitzroy and Lions player Jarrod Molloy was a fantastic influence.
From there he moved across to Port Melbourne in the VFL.
“I played 10 senior games in the 2009 season including the 18-point preliminary final loss to the Northern Bullants,” Suckling continued.
“But with a focus on my weights and some ‘OP’ issues I could only manage nine matches last year.”
His move to the Redlegs has proved to be very successful so far.
“I’ve always prided myself on my ability to win the contest ball,” he said.
“In the SANFL this is important as there are consistently 80 to 100 less possessions than you get in the VFL; so ball winning ability is an important attribute.
“I look up to team mate Bryce Campbell as he is a real animal in this area.”
A young man, still with aspirations of having a crack at the next level, Suckling is driven by team success at Norwood this year.
His attack on the football and drive he give from stoppages has added to the 2010 Grand Finalists strength his year and they look destined for another charge at ultimate glory this year.
By Peter Argent