Mahony Talks - Jack set to make an impact at the top level
Jack Mahony entered 2019 with the eyes of the footy world firmly on his every move.
After starring for Vic Metro and the Sandringham Dragons in his bottom-age year, the East Malvern Knights product was touted as a potential first-round pick in the National Draft.
But after breaking his hand mid-year, Mahony was unable to showcase his elite ball-winning ability that drew comparisons with Richmond’s Jack Higgins (also a former East Malvern Knight) in the latter part of the season.
The similarities are clear.
Mahony possesses some of the cleanest hands in tight across the country and hunts the ball with purpose, overcoming his 178cm frame to match it with the best.
The midfielder/forward sets up teammates with ease through hand or foot and has obvious footy nous.
And learning to deal with the hype was all part of his development.
“At the start of the year everyone was a bit excited and looking into it, so I probably looked online a bit too much at the very start of the year and got caught up in it a bit,” Mahony says.
“But as the year started, I realised there was going to be a whole lot of people saying different things about you that don’t really know exactly what’s going on, whether it be schoolmates or other people online.
“I just tried to stay away from it.
“After the first three Dragons games I realised there’s probably no point looking into it so I kind of stayed away from it for the rest of the year.”
Despite his season being cut short by injury, Mahony still produced a stellar campaign, representing Australia on the MCG against VFL side Casey and again starring for Vic Metro at the National Championships.
It all started in the pre-season when the then-17-year-old spent a week training with Richmond alongside Fischer McAsey and Lachie Ash.
“It was pretty cool,” he says.
“I remember walking into first day and Shaun Grigg let us in because we were walking out the front and didn’t have a key so we couldn’t even get in the club.
“Grigg let us in and it was pretty weird walking down the hall and Jack Riewoldt’s there studding boots, he said g’day and then Dusty turns the corner and says g’day.
“It was just pretty cool to see how they all go about it. It’s a lot more relaxed than I thought. They train hard and all that but once training is done it’s like a normal club, everyone’s mates and stuffing around…they work really hard but have a lot of fun doing it as well.”
Mahony is expected to be taken tonight in the second or third round of the draft, a potential steal for the now-healthy youngster.
It’s been a huge couple of weeks in his life and will hopefully get even bigger.
“It’s pretty weird. I finished school two weeks ago and got my licence last Thursday, and then draft this week, so it’s been a pretty intense few weeks,” he says.
“I think about it a bit. I’m not really nervous, it’s just on your mind a bit.
“It’s pretty exciting but I’m sure the nerves will kick in.”