We would like to congratulate Annie Xanthos and Jack Pierce who will play their 50th games this weekend!
I am so excited to be honouring one of my great friends and favourite teammates, Annie Xanthos, who will be playing her 50th game this weekend. A real positive to being dropped from VFLW!
Yes – when Annie is not an Eagle, she is a Kanga.. and before that, she was a Bulldog. Through a lot of hard work and determination, Annie has consistently trained and played at a VFLW level, all whilst maintaining a secure spot as a Sheag.. whether she’s on the wing, in the forward line or on ball, a few things are guaranteed: efficiency, tenacity, consistency, and commitment to her role. She often goes about her business quietly, achieves everything she sets out to achieve, and keeps a level head.
But for some reason, she is often the target of an angry opposition player. You may wonder.. why Annie? She is so sweet and kind, wouldn’t hurt a fly! I can confirm that this isn’t true – she has a competitive streak, and I would just love to know what actually prompts this targeting.
This competitiveness comes out when I receive a call on my drive home from a game – it’s Annie, running through every play on the ground. Or a voice memo/podcast later that day. Through COVID, Annie and I would meet up and go through drills.. just in case the pandemic ended on a random Thursday and we had to play footy that weekend.
And for the record – Annie used to get around the Sunday viewing of the Senior game on VAFA TV to check her stats… I’ve been waiting to get back at you for that one!
Annie, you are one of my most treasured friends. You don’t only mean a lot to me, but you mean a lot to this group. In addition to this, your family are such valued members of this community aswell, and I have thoroughly enjoyed having them at games.. regardless of whether you’re playing or not.
I think we can all agree, Annie has a heart of gold. Her loyalty is unmatched, and she has this rare ability to make people feel special and comfortable in her presence. Her kindness, sense of humour and compassion is infectious.
Looking forward to celebrating you this weekend, and running out for yet another game together. In the midfield, God help us. Happy 50th!
Annie has been a strong and fundamental member of the club since 2017. Her love and joy for the game and her team mates warms the hearts of those around her on those cold winter mornings. This milestone is a reflection of all of Annie’s hard work, drive and dedication.
On the field Annie is a force to be reckoned with. You can bet on Annie Xanthos to chase down her opponent and tackle without them ever knowing what was coming. An assassin on field that can defend, score goals and be there for her team mates when they most need it. Best of all Annie does it with a smile and a positive attitude.
Off the field Annie is a kind and supportive friend who will always be there for you with some words of encouragement. With her optimism and infectious laugh Annie will make your day better. Underneath that all Annie will always be up for the challenge, whether that be on a sheags night out or on field second efforts.
When I think of the Annie I met back in 2017, finishing high school, playing at St Marys and waiting for that exciting 18th birthday. I can already see the incredible growth you’ve made as both a player and an individual. 2017 Annie would be so proud that you have been listed for VFL teams – Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne. We are also proud of you.
Annie Xanthos this weekend is your 50th game as a sheagle! What an achievement! I am honoured that I have been able to watch you reach where you are today as a player and I can’t wait to see what else you achieve! Congrats!!
I have had the pleasure of playing footy with Jack Pierce for many years now. Our time shared on the field goes back to school days where Piercey was a bustling Centre Half-Forward holding together the forward line of our Year 9/10 Reserves team.
Like the rest of us, Piercey came to the club in 2017 to play under 19s with our school mates. Fair to say under 19s coach Simon Abrahams must have viewed Jack as quite the utility opting to play Piercey in a number of roles throughout the year. He played everything from a medium lockdown defender to the coveted ‘death valley’ pressure half forward role. I’m sure it was Simon’s belief in Piercey’s versatility that extended to him not selecting Jack one week and instead sending him to watch Ormond v Hampton to take notes for an upcoming fixture.
Piercey returned the following preseason with a point to prove, a true fire in the belly to have one of the great local footy preseasons. Unfortunately, the fairy tale did not play out as expected. Jack suffered a nasty broken ankle from an innocuous incident during a drill. This injury would keep Piercey out of action for an extended period of time. Jack seem to quickly get comfortable in the retirement lifestyle.
In one of the great transformations, Piercey would return to footy after the COVID period lean, mean and ready to roll, with his new physique built off the back of home workouts and chicken and rice. He now plied his trade exclusively in the backline and clearly enjoyed the more settled role winning the Thirds Best and Fairest in 2021.
This brings us to last year, where Piercey found himself as a key member of a young Reserves backline. Piercey was able to show his true strengths on the football field. He showed leadership with the way he engaged with and invested in the younger players, he showed his drive and determination to strive to beat his opponent every week. He showed nerves of steel and skill being the first choice to take our kick-ins. Ultimately, Piercy showed his true strength which is his character making him a great teammate. The club is a better place with people like Jack Pierce around.
Jack and I often reminisce on the not so fond memory of playing in a game against Williamstown where our team didn’t manage to kick a goal all day, leading to 116-point defeat, a truly dark day in every sense. However, there is no doubt some of my favourite times at the club have been spent sitting in the corner of the changerooms, with Piercey and the other usual suspects, Greg Loucas and Luca Zanella, in ‘go slow’ mode soaking up a win and making a plan for the Saturday night ahead.
Piercey your MOCFC journey has been a wild ride but it is an absolute pleasure every time I get to run out with you. All the best for your 50th game this weekend, hope there is many more to come!
Go well Chew!