Giant Jack is back
By Ella Watson
Central District Football Club is excited about the homecoming of local lad Jack Hannath who returns to the club after a four year stint playing for Fremantle in the AFL and their Reserves affiliate ‘Peel Thunder’ in the WAFL.
Jack started his Football career playing for the Angaston Panthers in the Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association and was picked up by Centrals in the development squad in the then under 17’s format.
He played two seasons in under 17’s and under 19’s before the age limit changed to the current under 16’s and under 18’s format.
From there Jack played in the CDFC under 18’s and Reserves before cementing a League spot, playing some of 2011 and all of 2012 for Centrals League side before he was drafted to Fremantle in the AFL 2012 end of year Pre-Season Draft at pick 8.
Jack recounts his move to Fremantle as a bit of a leap into the unknown.
“It was a pretty big step, I’d never been to Western Australia before,” Jack said.
“I took a little while to settle in, but once I did I really enjoyed it, Perth is a great place to live.”
“I made a lot of good friends while I was over there.”
As all footballers would know, the friends you make at a club remain friends for life.
“There are guys who got delisted when I was playing and guys who are still there who I remain in regular contact with, these will be friendships I will have for life no doubt.”
Showing that his Football talent obviously runs in the family Jack’s Cousin Jonathan Giles who has played for Central District Football Club, Sturt, Port Adelaide, Greater Western Sydney, Essendon and is currently playing for West Coast Eagles lived with Jack in WA.
“We lived together for about eight months and even though he was a bad house mate it was great to hang out with him.”
“We played together for one game back when we were both at Centrals and ended up playing against each other in the WAFL.”
“We didn’t talk Footy that often, when you are immersed in Football as your career it’s nice to come home and just relax and not have to think about it too much.”
Although he was living thousands of kilometres away in Western Australia Jack kept in regular contact with friends and family back home in the Barossa Valley and at Centrals.
“From the Barossa, I still have a group of old school mates I keep in regular contact with, through playing at Centrals I have footy mates and going to university I made friends there too.”
“It was hard because I didn’t get back that often and when I did it was for short amounts of time, but I always tried to squeeze in catch ups.”
After being delisted at the end of last season Jack had a decision to make whether to stay and play in Perth or return home to SA, his family and friends were very supportive in allowing Jack to make the decision for himself.
“In the end, I decided to return home and once I’d made the decision Mum made it pretty clear she was happy I was coming home.”
Reflecting on his time at Centrals before being drafted to Fremantle, Jack has noticed certain changes after returning to the club.
“There are familiar faces from when I was here 4 years ago obviously Roy [Laird] and Kris Grant have stayed the same in their positions at the club, I also played with a few of the guys 4 years ago who are still here now.”
“Everything changes over time, but it’s nice the club still has a familiar sense from when I was here last, I always kept tabs on Centrals while I was away.”
Speaking to Coach Roy Laird before he committed to returning to the club Jack discussed what role he was expected to play on field.
“They [Centrals] were keen to get another big man over to share the ruck and forward role, I know the SANFL has lower interchange caps so the club is looking to utilise players they can keep on the ground for longer, so it helps having ruckmen who can also play forward.”
During these discussions, Jack was offered back his old number a sweetener he found hard to pass up on.
“I said to Granty [Kris Grant] I heard my old number (33) was available and that it was something I would really like to have.”
“My goal is to get my name on the locker for 100 games or a premiership.”
When asked, what Jack expects from this season and the team Jack acknowledged they were in for a tough fight, but is remaining optimistic after a strong pre-season training.
“I can only speak from what I’ve seen since returning to the club in January and I’m excited for the season to start.”
“There are young guys coming through who I’ve never seen before I feel will be real assets to the team mixed in with a good group of experienced players.”
“I have really high hopes for this season.”
Central District Football Club will host our first trial match for the season on Saturday the 18th of March from 2.10pm against Glenelg.
Centrals then play West and Sturt on consecutive Saturdays in trial matches, before the SANFL Macca’s Season proper kicks off on Saturday April 8th v the Eagles at My Money House Oval, Elizabeth.
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