DOC DAVIS RIGHT AT HOME AT THE BERG IN A 100 SENIOR GAMES
Matthew "Doc" Davis says he is right at home at Chelmer as he celebrates his 100th Senior match for the Magpies when they take on Labrador on the coast on Saturday.
As Doc recalls it, there are four events that made him know that the Western Magpies and the "Berg" was his real home.
He said he was welcomed with open arms when he moved across as a 15 year old in 2005.
When he was selected in the Queensland Under 18 team in 2007, he was required/forced to play for a QAFL club and had to move to Mt Gravatt. A common theme that robbed the Magpies of talent regularly in that era! He then headed south to the VFL with Coburg in 2008 and on returning from Coburg to Brisbane in 2009 he was pushed to join Aspley by the powers that be at AFLQ (despite playing in the same competition as the Magpies) and he says playing against the Magpies for the first time that year was the hardest thing he has done in football. When he decided to return to the Nest in 2014 he says it was one of the happiest days in his life and he says he still loves it at the Magpies as can be seen when he does his little cameos for Magpies TV with his mate Bryce Crossley.
Doc was a member of the Magpies Colts team that won the Premiership in 2005 under Alan Hagley but there was only one problem--he missed the Grand Final with a broken arm.
He graduated to the Seniors in 2006 under Paul Grentell and was in the Pies' Premiership team as a 16 year old when they defeated Noosa at Carrara. He injured an ankle early and spent a bit of time on the bench but he says he can still remember every moment like it was yesterday and cherishes every one of them. He says he has not had much luck with finals!! In his early years he was a high leaping forward and entertained the Chelmer faithful with some hangers in his youth--he laments the fact the a few extra kilos now means he is flat out getting off the ground anymore!!
He played for Queensland Under 18s in 2007 and acquitted himself so well he attracted the interest of Richmond and moved south in 2008 and did the pre-season with the Tigers and although not a listed player he trained with them throughout the season under Terry Wallace and was a full time footballer as he was on a retainer from Richmond. He played most of the year at Richmond Reserves club Coburg in the VFL under Jade Rawlings, who he rated highly. He also got on well with Wallace.
The Tigers let him go in 2009 and he returned to Brisbane and was pushed to join Aspley where he played for 5 years, 2 in the QAFL and 3 in the NEAFL. He says he did not sleep in the week before his first match against the Magpies (the Pies and Aspley were both promoted to the QAFL in 2009) and was warned before the match by Pies coach Paul Grentell that he better not forget his mouth guard!! He says he was pummelled a bit in the game and David "Hammers" Hamill knocked him over several times and suggested he would be lucky to get off the ground alive!! He managed to survive the ordeal and continued at Aspley for another 4 years-- he says it was OK but he suggested they were still not the most enjoyable years.
Doc rejoined the Pies in 2014 and as he says he was immediately at home and loving football again. He had a good season in 2014 and was on fire on a half back flank in 2015 under Glenn Humphrey until he badly sprained his ankle with 6 games to go. He struggled to overcome the injury, which likely cost him a Bill Peirce Medal as he was leading the count when he was injured. He was still good enough to named on a back flank in the QAFL Team of the Year in 2015.
He has been an integral part of the Pies line up in the past few seasons and after a number of years on a back flank he has moved to the wing where his strong marking has proved a channel out of defence for the Pies.
The Doc has also decided on a change of career and is studying to be a primary school teacher which he does full time but also gets on the tools in his trade as a carpenter. So if he is bit tired at training give him a bit of slack as he is having some big days studying and also on the tools.
When asked who were the best players he played with and against he nominated only one player to fill both –Val Pope. “I played a lot of footy with Popey and he’s never had a bad game. I unfortunately played on him one day at Aspley and he kicked 6 goals on me, but I don’t talk about that game too often. After breaking my arm a few weeks out from winning the Under 18s Grand Final, Val gave me his medal during the celebrations which is something I will never forget. I’d probably give it back to him if it wasn’t for the 6 goals he kicked on me!”.
There are many people I could thank over the journey but I can narrow it down to a few. Those who know me know I am a committed Christian and acknowledge God where I can. Mum and Dad have been the biggest contributors and have been there for the celebrations as well as the down times footy can bring. Dad grew up as a fairly passionate Port Adelaide local and AFL has always been in my blood, that is why I play AFL and love it. Paul Grentell had faith in me at a young age , introducing me to Senior football at 16 years old and playing me in a winning Grand Final which is one of the reasons I love this footy club so much. Recently, Brydan Morgan has re-invigorated my love for the game. He has changed the way I play footy and he coaches a style of footy I really enjoy and relate to, while being a good mate off the paddock as well.”
Congratulations to “The Doctor” on a career well played and he is deserving of all the accolades he receives on his 100th Senior match for the Magpies and in reality he has likely played over 200 matches in Senior football over the journey, which shows his resilience and toughness. He reckons another flag is not too much to ask and he thinks if the Pies make the finals they can go all the way.