After all the challenges, all the pain and all the heartbreak, Melbourne are finally, finally, after 12 years, into the finals.
And no one could be happier than young forward Sam Weideman.
“It was unbelievable, it was just an amazing feeling. Pure elation,” Weideman said about the win. “I think there was relief on a lot of the boys’ faces, it was just everything coming together, it was an amazing feeling.”
Travelling to Perth in a game where few gave Melbourne a chance, considering they were yet to beat a top-eight side for the year at that point, the Dees pulled off their biggest win in over a decade, knocking off the second-placed West Coast Eagles in a thriller.
Scenes of pure relief and joy erupted after the final siren, with the cameras panning straight to Dees skipper Nathan Jones, who for many is the lifeblood of the club, sticking through the dark patches from 2007-2015, when he easily could have left.
“The relief on a lot of blokes who have been there for a while, like Gawny, Chunk (Nathan Jones) and Tom McDonald, it was awesome to see. It is so special for them, I’m so stoked for them. They’ve put in so much work, and have experienced tough times, so it’s great to see them getting the rewards,” Weideman said.
For Weideman, the game was massive not just in the context of the season, but the opportunity that came along with it too.
Brought into the side for the first time since Round 15 due to a season-ending injury to star forward Jesse Hogan, the chance to not only have an impact on the Dees making finals but to cement his place in the 22 was enormous.
“I was pretty shattered for the big fella (Hogan), it was a pretty unlucky time to get it, and you don’t want to see that happen to anyone, but yeah, it is a good opportunity.”
“I’ve had a pretty consistent year in the VFL, so I just want to grab this opportunity and keep it going.”
“The coaches have put their faith in me, so I’m hoping to take confidence from that.”
Weideman has had a fruitful year at the VFL level, booting 25 goals in just ten matches, which he attributes to the coaching group down at Casey.
“A lot of credit goes to the coaches down there, they put in a lot of work to get us to an AFL level. It’s been a really enjoyable year in the VFL, and the effort they put in to get us ready is massive.”
With the finals approaching, and the chance to play in September in the hands of the youngster, Weideman is keen to take his opportunity and contribute to Melbourne’s campaign.
“It’s very exciting, I’m bloody stoked to be a part of it, hopefully, and hopefully we can win a few finals, and you never know what can happen from there,” he said.
But before that, the Dees must face the GWS Giants in an absolute blockbuster, with Melbourne guaranteed a home elimination final if they win, and even a place in the top four if the lowly Fremantle can knock off Collingwood.
“We have to put the weekend behind us, as good as it was, and focus on GWS. There is a heap on the line, a home final is massive in the scheme of things. It’s going to be pretty crucial come finals time.”
With Melbourne set for September, the sky is the limit for Sam Weideman, and the challenges that lay ahead of himself and the rest of the Demons will have their supporters dreaming of premiership glory.
Article link: It’s Weideman’s world as the Dees dream of September Glory. Written by Dylan Carmody, on The Roar - Your Sports Opinion.
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