Mayo Lives Dream Debut

Monday, May 13, 2019 - 7:46 AM

You would be hard pressed to find a better way to debut in WAFL footy than kicking one of the match winning goals as part of a fourth quarter fightback, yet last Saturday young Subiaco forward Jack Mayo lived that boyhood dream.


Mayo kicked a final quarter goal and helped play his role as Subiaco came from 22 points down to beat Swans and in the process extend their winning streak to 25 games.


While admitting going to the three quarter time huddle he wasn’t sure if the Subiaco win streak would continue, he was impressed by the self confidence that existed in the group.


“I think coming in for your debut game, I got confidence from seeing how calm the leaders were and the self confidence they had,” Mayo said.


“We knew we hadn’t played our best, but Kitch was just saying how sweet this win would be if we pulled it off.”


The captain was exactly right as Subiaco kicked the first two goals of the last quarter to pull within three points of Swans.


Enter Mayo who was in the right place at the right time around a goal square stoppage and was able to soccer through the goal that gave Subiaco the lead, a lead they would not relinquish.


“At the stoppage I felt I had pretty good position and thought if I got the right bounce I was a sneaky chance,” Mayo said.


“When it came my way it was just react and get the boot onto it, was a pretty special feeling than having the boys get around you.”


The 19 year old Mayo who hails from local junior club Carine, has impressed in his first year in senior footy, showing a maturity towards his own development and thirst to help fit into the structures of modern senior football.


A talented junior player and the leading goal kicker in the WAFL Colts competition in 2018, Mayo spent much of the pre-season working as a key defender, part of his own development to grow and add versatility to his game.


Mayo approached the new challenge with typical enthusiasm and while the defensive move came to a premature end as injuries occurred within the senior program, he acknowledges how important it was to have the experience in defence.


“The defensive structures are very different at senior football, so to experience it from defence was a good learning curve,” Mayo said.


“It taught me where I need to position my body and where defenders are trying to position against me.”


The other skill that Mayo quickly developed in his time in senior football, was showing resilience.


After being named as an emergency two weeks in a row, rather than be disappointed on just missing out on a league debut, Mayo went back to Reserves footy and produced two of his best games with the club.


“I think it was more reassuring than anything to be named emergency,” Mayo said.


“It told me that I was around the mark and that I was doing a lot of the team things right, when Beau gave me the news it was exciting.”


While tall players typically take time to develop, Mayo is blessed with outstanding athletic ability and has continued to develop strongly as he transitions into senior football.


His highlight reel at WAFL Colts level includes big contested marks, long range goals and dynamic play in transition, with these plays highlighting a player with an excellent understanding of the game and ability to read the play.


Part of this can be traced to Mayo’s dad, Brett, who was an accomplished country footballer and is an experienced coach, including with the Subiaco Football Club.


“Dad was really excited when I told him about the debut,” Mayo said.


“By all accounts he was a pretty handy footballer who had a few injuries, I think he was really happy I got a chance to debut at a great club like Subiaco.”


In some ways it was Mayo coming full circle to make his league debut.


“I remember being around the club when I was 8 or 9 watching Subiaco play and idolising Brad Smith and Darren Rumble,” Mayo said.


“It is pretty amazing to think that I am now playing in the same team from all those great players I idolised.”