That 150 game Phelan

Another Subiaco champion is set to achieve life membership with Chris Phelan to play his 150th game against East Fremantle on Saturday.

Subiaco’s #15 has become a fixture in the Lions best 22, working into the fold after the Glory Years. Phelan was originally a defender when he was introduced by Scott Watters but is glad he was able to make the transition into the midfield.
“I came in during the 2008 season against Peel because Daniel Chick was injured. I started the game in the backline and actually got hurt in the first five minutes, I needed a jab to finish the game so it wasn’t the greatest start,
“That was the only change from the team that year and I was out as fast as I came in but it was good to get the opportunity.” Said Phelan
A change of scenery opened up a massive opportunity in 2013 for Chris Phelan and the tall midfielder took it with both hands.

“Scott Watters and Chris Waterman continued to use me as a defender and I wasn’t considered a midfield option until Jarrad Schofield became coach in 2013. I played all of my juniors and reserves football in the midfield so Schoey had confidence in me for a tagging role. The boys actually call it the “Phezzy fake tag” because I often ignore the opposition and go the ball instead.” Said Phelan

“It sort of clicked as soon as I was playing in the midfield. I was following most of the league’s best on ballers so they generally took me to the ball, I just had to keep up with them and learn from them.”
The return of Kyal Horsley in 2014 started a new era for Subiaco’s midfield and Phelan and Horsley combined well with Victorian Jason Bristow.

“That was one of the best midfield groups I have been a part off. When Horse returned, it brought experience and a leader who isn’t afraid to give a spray. He keeps everyone honest and you need that as a team,
“Bristow was also a very good player, both guys were knowledgeable and capable of seeing the game happening around them. I’m kind of glad they did, because I can watch an entire football game and not be able to tell you what happened.” Added Phelan with a laugh

The Lions went on to claim a famous premiership against the AFL-strengthened Royals in 2014 and it’s still the Kingsley JFC products' favourite football memory. (Aside from the end of season and country trips)

“It’s still my favourite football memory. We were underdogs all year and had beat East Perth a couple of times in the regular season only to get smashed in the semi-final,
“When it came to the Grand Final no one really gave us a shot, so it’s a sort of surreal looking back on what we were able to achieve. I watch the highlights of the Grand Final every now and then and get goosebumps.” Said Phelan
The storyline only got better when Phelan produced a dominant 380 disposal season for the 1st place Lions in 2015. Subiaco steamrolled West Perth in the Grand Final and Phelan was awarded the Outridge Medal for the Lions fairest and best. He equalled that effort with another 370 disposal campaign and a consecutive Outridge Medal in 2016.

“I never imagined winning one Outridge Medal let alone two, it’s amazing how things work out. In the earlier days, around 2010, I was somewhat un-enthusiastic at continuing my football career and considered retiring at one point, but I’m glad that didn’t happen.” Said Phelan

There are no signs that Phelan is ready to slow down now and he’s driven his consistency into the current campaign. Phelan currently ranks 5th in the competition for disposals and attributes it to conditioning.

“The consistency I’ve been able to bring to my game in recent years has been good. I was injured a lot when I was younger but it showed me the amount of work you have to do to prepare and repair your body. I’ve never torn a muscle in my entire career, but the boys say it’s because I don’t have any.” Said Phelan
When asked to offer his biggest influences Phelan was quick to point out a handful of stern educators in his past.

“My old boy was probably one of the biggest influences as well as my biggest critic. He was my coach all throughout juniors and loved letting me know when I played a stinker,
“Scott Watters is another influence who called me out a couple of times, when I first came through the senior system I was definitely a lot lazier and Watters never hesitated to let me know. I’m pretty sure he called me fat at some point,

“Jarrad Schofield would also have to be one due to his faith in me as a midfielder and his ongoing guidance.” Added Phelan

Looking towards the future Phelan is adamant on continuing the ride.
“I’m hoping to play as consistently as I can. I mean another Grand Final would be nice but I’m pretty content just making it on to the park at the moment.” Said Phelan

Chris Phelan and the Subiaco Lions face East Fremantle at Leederville Oval, Saturday May 20.

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