IAN Nankervis’ decision to relocate to Queensland 30 years ago might have the ultimate pay-off on Saturday night.
The former Geelong captain and Australian Football Hall of Fame member will have the honour of presenting the AFL premiership cup to coach Chris Scott and current skipper Joel Selwood if the Cats can overcome Richmond in the grand final at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Nankervis, 72, played 325 games for the Cats, which was the club record until broken by current assistant coach Corey Enright in 2016.
“To think the grand final would be at the Gabba, no one would have thought of that at the start of the year,” Nankervis said speaking to K Rock Football.
“I guess I’m in the right spot at the right time, to have played with the footy club and be in Queensland at this time.
“(Geelong CEO) Brian Cook rang me and asked me whether I would accept the honour of representing the footy club and presenting the cup.
“It was very exciting to get that phone call, and I certainly accepted with glee.”
Nankervis won three Carji Greeves Medals, captained the Cats on 110 occasions, and represented Victoria on 12 occasions.
However, the ultimate team success eluded the Barwon product, with preliminary final losses to Collingwood in 1980-81 as close as he came to the last Saturday of the season.
“I know how hard it is to reach the final day, and Geelong has had an exciting time in the last month or so,” Nankervis.
“To be able to have some small excitement of being on the grand stage on grand final day, would be very exciting for me.
“And to be able to present the trophy to someone like Joel Selwood, who is certainly one of my favourite players for the way he attacked the ball and the way he presents himself.”
AFL Hall of Famer and triple Carji Greeves Medallist Ian Nankervis will present the cup if Geelong reigns supreme ??— Geelong Cats (@GeelongCats) October 20, 2020
Nankervis, who is in an emergency in Geelong’s Team of the Century, believes Richmond is the team to beat.
“They are the reigning premiers, and anyone wanting to defend their crown will fight very, very hard,” he said.
“I’m slightly confident with our form at the moment, but I know she’s going to be a hard slog, and hopefully little things go our way and make all the difference for the final result.
“I’m hoping with fingers and legs crossed.”