By David Nagel
Gippsland product Caleb Serong added another notch to a growing belt of achievements on Sunday night by winning the 2021 AFL Goal of the Year.
The second-year Fremantle midfielder slotted a miraculous banana kick from the boundary line, late in the last quarter, to secure the Dockers a thrilling Derby win over cross-town rivals the West Coast Eagles in round 22.
Serong, who was taken by the Dockers at pick eight in the 2019 AFL draft, has had a magnificent start to his AFL career, winning the 2020 Rising Star Award and AFL Players Association Best First Year Player.
And this year he claimed the AFL Coaches Association Best Young Player Award, as well as the Ross Glendinning Medal for his great game against the Eagles.
Serong’s goal prompted a great call from Fox Footy commentator Anthony Hudson.
“He got down, he got up again…we’ve got every right to be amazed,’ Hudson screamed.
Serong, who as a youngster grew up in Inverloch and Warragul, was as amazed as Hudson that the ball went through the big sticks.
When asked by presenter Abbey Holmes what was going through his head before his miraculous six pointer, Serong had a simple answer.
“I don’t think much was going through my head when I was in that situation, I just got up as quick as I could and smacked it through,” he told Holmes.
“It was more of a fluke than anything, but I was pretty glad it went through.”
And when asked by his Fremantle captain, and co-presenter, Nathan Fyfe, what we can next expect from him, Serong pulled the team-first card out of the hat.
“Hopefully a flag next year for the Dockers.”
Serong was a star junior at both football and cricket, representing Victoria at both sports.
He played his first senior game of football for Warragul at the age of 15, and played for the Gippsland Power, earning selection in the Vic Country team and being named an All-Australian Under-18 that year.