St Kilda’s Sean Dempster in action during last year’s drawn AFL grand final.
St Kilda’s Sean Dempster in action during last year’s drawn AFL grand final. SLATTERY MEDIA

A charmed career

ON the odd occasion he takes time to reflect on his career to date, St Kilda’s Mr Fix-It, Sean Dempster, admits he has to pinch himself sometimes.

Some of the greats of the game have gone through entire careers without playing in a grand final, but not Dempster.

In fact in six years, the 27-year-old has played on footy’s biggest stage an incredible five times.

“I’ve been extremely lucky,” Dempster admitted.

“I’ve played in less than a hundred games and five of those have been grand finals.

“I remember my first year of playing seniors at the Swans, I’d only played in 22 games, but Paul Williams had played 290 and it was his first grand final as well, so the extremes are pretty massive and I do have to pinch myself, I’ve been very lucky.”

The versatile utility is in his fourth season with the Saints, but tonight plays against Sydney, not only his old club, but also that of his father, who played with the Swans in the 1970s.

Dempster admits that every time he plays against his old club, there’s a little bit of extra feeling.

“I suppose that any player that leaves a club for whatever reason wants to play well against them and I suppose maybe prove themself a little bit and I don’t think that feeling is ever going to go,” the premiership player admitted.

“Having said that it’s probably not as strong as when I first left and at the end of the day I’ve still got good mates in Sydney.”

During Dempster’s time with the Swans he made a visit to Coffs Harbour and wishes he could’ve brought his golf clubs with him this weekend.

“In my very first year with the Swans, which would be 2003, we did a community camp in Coffs Harbour and we stayed up there for a week, it was beautiful,” he said.

“We had a hit at that golf club in Bonville, that was very schmick. That would be nice to have a hit around again, but unfortunately we don’t have the time this weekend.”

One of Dempster’s strengths as a player is his ability to slot into most positions on the field. He is 6’4” in the old scale, but athletic at the same time.

With the newly introduced substitute rule, Dempster believes it may give players like him more opportunities at the selection table.

“I think the sub rule probably does make the position for someone who is a bit more versatile because you’ve got to probably cover a bit more of what the game throws at you in terms of injuries and stuff,” he said.

“You might have to go forward or back or possibly even the midfield so it does make it probably a little more advantageous for the versatile players to get a run.”

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