PRIDE OF THE TIGERS: Ageless Anderson defies father time
THE last time Lee Anderson played Sawtell-Toormina it was in the 2012 North Coast grand final.
Anderson kicked seven goals and was named best on ground that day as he led his side to a dramatic victory.
Eight years later he has another chance to torment the club who must be still having nightmares of the one that got away.
Down at three-quarter time, Grafton clicked into gear scoring 50 points to take the premiership, and Anderson was right in the thick of it.
That was almost a decade ago, and for Anderson, who turned 42 this year, playing in another grand final is something he thought would never happen.
“After 2012 I stopped playing, so playing in a grand final on Saturday will be a huge buzz,” Anderson said.
“I thought I would never play in another final. I actually haven’t played against Sawtell this season so it will be my first hit out against them.
“I’ve watched them play and they’re a good side with plenty of experience.”
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Anderson will have some familiar faces alongside him on Saturday with a sprinkling of youth.
“The turnover in players is obviously totally different from back when we won the grand final,” he said.
“Danny Holder, a good mate of mine has also made a return along with Ryan Sheather, Sam Morrison and a few others. Seeing all the young guys playing senior footy enticed us back to play and help out.
“Myself and Nigel O’Neill have been helping out with coaching from under-13 right through to under-17.”
Anderson admitted with so many young players in the squad, keeping them relaxed and not over-thinking Saturday’s game will the advice he and the more experienced players will be drumming into them this week.
“The young guys need to just enjoy the week. If you don’t enjoy it you start playing the game in your head too much,” he said.
“I’ve seen it happen before. Some of the young blokes get stage fright because they think about the game too much.”
“But in saying that we have the side to win on Saturday. The clubs been down and out for a while so it’s a huge opportunity to finish the season on a high.”