Proud coach reflects on retiring Saint's junior years
THE memory still brings a smile to Peter Kiegerl's face.
A young David Armitage "running amok” at his house on the Saturday night before footy.
"He lived out at Shoal Point so he'd always stay in town at my place on the Saturday night ready to play footy on the Sunday,” Kiegerl said.
Before he was president at Eastern Swans, Kiegerl was a junior coach at the club. To this day he has never coached a better player than the retiring St Kilda star.
He recalled an Under-14 grand final victory, when Armitage was "probably only 11”, in which the prodigious talent kicked a bag of six goals.
"He played any position we put him in . . . he'd kick five or six (goals) every week for us. You could just tell he had 'it'. You could see he was special,” Kiegerl said.
"He could kick with both feet and that's why I say you could tell.
"A lot of people back then could only kick with one foot, but he was a natural with both.
"He had a footy in his hands every day.”
Armitage announced this week he would leave St Kilda after 13 seasons with the club.
He was drafted with pick 9 in the 2006 National Draft and played 169 games for 98 goals.
Geelong tragic Kiegerl said he still has not forgiven Armitage for the "couple he kicked against Geelong” early in his career.
But that did not stop the Swans president from hanging Armitage's #20 jersey up at the club's Rogers Oval home.
"It's there to show everyone in Mackay that's what you can achieve if you have a go,” Kiegerl said.
"We've had a couple (of players) come through before but none have gone as far as he did.”