U18 TAC Cup Squad

This time last year, Jamison Shea didn’t think he’d still be here. We sat down and had a chat about how his time at the Knights was coming to an end and what the future held for him from there.

He wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen, and after a self-confessed up-and-down top age season, Talent Manager Rhy Gieschen gave him the opportunity to possibly come back and play as a 19-year old.

“I thought if I was lucky enough to get the chance to come back and have a big pre-season I’d set myself to have a big year,” Shea said.

“I always knew I’d be able to play this consistently but I just needed to build my confidence and I can’t thank Rhy and the club enough for the faith they showed giving me this opportunity.”

Shea has played the 10 games for the Knights this season and is the leading goal kicker at the club with 16 goals, and averaging over 20 disposals a game. The impressive numbers Shea has put up this season has given him a massive opportunity to play five senior VFL games for the Footscray Bulldogs over the past eight weeks.

The 19-Year-Old from Lower Plenty also made his debut in a televised game against Port Melbourne, kicking a goal with his first kick and finishing with two for the game.

Shea said he really felt the difference between the TAC Cup and the VFL.

“It was pretty confronting at first, I noticed a massive difference in both pace and physicality straight away and I knew I was in for a big challenge.”

“To play against AFL listed players and really solid senior VFL players was an amazing but also daunting experience.”

“Kicking a goal with my first kick helped settle the nerves down a bit, I then realized the type of impact I could have at this level.”

Shea kicked two goals in his next game as well and in his fourth game had 20 disposals against Coburg, which started to make him feel like he belonged at that level.

“It was nice to back up my first game with another couple of goals, but it was definitely in that fourth game where I thought I am good enough to be here.”

“I spent a little bit of time down back in that game so it was good to show that I could play and have an impact at both ends of the ground. I started to connect with the players a bit more which made things a lot easier as well as starting to get a better understanding of their structures they put into place.”

Jamison, as a lifelong Collingwood supporter got to play with one of his biggest idols Travis Cloke, and jokes that he kicked it to him a couple of times when maybe he shouldn’t have.

“Watching Travis all these years and then getting to play in the same forward line as him is something I think I still haven’t got my head around. A couple of times I just saw him deep inside 50 and just launched it to him out of pure instinct. There probably was better options available but I still would do it in a heartbeat.”

Shea is now back at the Knights and hopes to finish off this season strongly and help the Knights have a big impact on the finals.

“I hope I’ve been able to bring some knowledge back for the boys which hopefully can be really beneficial for the team. As a team the goal remains the same as it did in the preseason and that is to make a big run at the finals. We know the footy we are capable of is at a very high level and we have the belief we can match it with anyone on our day.”

“Hopefully I can continue to put in good performances and you never know what can happen from there, but for me I’m all about team success and bringing the Knights back to the top where we belong.”