West Coast won the 2018 Toyota AFL Premiership competition and it appears that there is a mini-exodus headed in the direction of Western Australia.
If Rory Lobb were to leave the Greater Western Sydney Giants, GWS might have a spot on the list at ruckman for Shane Mumford to end his brief retirement and return to the game for the 2019 season.
The report comes from the Herald Sun, so it has a little more in the way of legitimacy than some other rumours.
Mumford hurt his foot in the finals last year, and then called time, but the injury has healed, assisted no doubt, by taking on the role of professional boxer, where getting punched in the foot is a rare occupational risk.
He was also dipping his toe in the coaching pool, consulting with the Giants as a part-time ruck coach, so it could be said that while he stopped playing, he did not abandon football entirely.
Mumford turned 32 years of age over the winter, so he is not entirely over the hill and more than a few older professional athletes have returned after a sabbatical to discover that a year away from the rigours of some code or the other is a remarkable tonic for supplying fresh legs.
GWS football manager Wayne Campbell told Fairfax Media, We’re looking at a range of options to strengthen our list ahead of 2019 and if it was thought Shane’s body is up to it and he has the desire to play AFL again, we will have a conversation with him.”
Between Geelong, Sydney and GWS, Mumford has 172 AFL games next to his name and it is conceivable that he could eke out another season and test his body.
Mumford is not abandoning boxing just yet. He has a fight in November.
With his height, he seems far better suited to playing in the AFL than he does to fighting in the ring, but a break from all the running of football has seemingly been the exact panacea his foot required.