Mundy’s first match was a 143-129 win over Neale Daniher’s Melbourne at the MCG. Read that scoreline and weep. Alongside Mundy were Bell, Matthew Pavlich, Jeff Farmer, Paul Hasleby, Des Headland and a certain Justin Longmuir. Facing him were David Neitz, Russell Robertson, Brad Green, Aaron Davey, Brock McLean, Adam Yze, and Travis Johnstone. This is a wonky old time machine.
Mundy immediately, and permanently, installed himself. He has played 17 games in that debut season and only eleven since he has played fewer games in a season. He was third in the Rising Star, behind Brett Deledio, but leaving Lance Franklin as an also-ran.
At least 15 of Mundy’s 2022 listmates had not started school then and were blithely unaware of the Dockers, let alone the straggly-haired rookie. Of the 236 players who have represented the club, Mundy has played alongside 147 and counting.
Only 10 Fremantle players other than him have reached 200 games, and Mundy has played in the milestone game of every one of them, and Michael Walters will soon make an 11th. I have kept signing long-term contracts. Whenever he might have thought about a change of Guernsey, Fremantle changed their own. He has also worn untold iterations of it.
Only 10 Fremantle players other than him have reached 200 games, and Mundy has played in the milestone game of every one of them, and Michael Walters will soon make an 11th.
Mundy won a best-and-fairest, made an All-Australian team, played in a grand final, captained the Dockers for a year and has been a life member for 10 years. There were a couple of mark-of-the-year nominations in his youth, and a quirky predilection for last-kick winners against Richmond.
It might look like a modest tablecloth. Even Fremantle struggled to define him. Their banner for his 250th acclaimed “250 solid games”. One hundred and twenty more have followed.
Rather than any singular skill, prodigious feat, commission or trophy, Mundy’s monument is his durability and loyalty. He keeps getting himself up for games, and keeps getting himself to where he needs to be within games, quarter after quarter, year after year. He has missed very few, and has always been worth the next for nearly two decades.
In celebrating his career, Fremantle made a point of noting that he had led the club in all-time disposals, clearances and tackles. He has been the consummate modern footballer, the players’ player. And he still is.
As a long-termer near the end, the standard formulation is to say that the club will be doing it for him. For whatever remains of this season, you can be sure the Dockers will be doing it for Mundy but, just as crucially, he will be doing it for them.
In many other sports, they would retire his No.16 Guernsey – except that it would probably keep playing anyway.
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