Crane returns to Tigerland

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Justin FrisSouth Western Times
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Shaun Crane receives the inaugural Jackson McGuire medal from AFL Legend Syd Jackson.
Camera IconShaun Crane receives the inaugural Jackson McGuire medal from AFL Legend Syd Jackson. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

South Bunbury has wasted no time in getting down to business during the off-season, by enticing classy utility Shaun Crane to return home.

Along with Crane, the Tigers have also secured the services of former East Fremantle star Damon Bull along with Jesse Hockings from the Eaton Boomers.

Following on from a successful stint at Tigerland, Crane headed over to NSW, where he spent three seasons with the North Shore Bombers.

During the period, the exceptional 28-year-old won two Phelan Medals – the highest individual honour in the AFL Sydney competition.

“To be completely honest it was the most enjoyable and challenging three years of footy I have had,” he said.

“Obviously it was significant entering a new environment and creating a positive profile for myself I guess.

“I was fortunate enough to join a club with a fantastic group of people in a professional yet fun culture, with a genuine desire for success.

“I think I learned a lot about myself as a footballer but more so about the game from some of smarter people I have met in the game.

“It was interesting to go to training and every session having 60 blokes there and working on structures with the same people every night of the week.

“Personally I was rewarded for some hard work but you would trade all of it in a heartbeat for a premiership, which I was not able to achieve over there.”

With the birth of his daughter Spencer earlier this year, Crane and wife Emma-Lee elected to return to the South West and be close to family.

And Crane had to hesitations in returning to Hands Oval when South rang him up.

“I got a call from Paul Buswell and went in initially to meet with him, “Billo” (Stephen Bilcich) and president John Castrilli.

“I left the meeting and I was really excited what what was to come. To be honest, South Bunbury is home – football-wise for me.

“I had the intention of returning if everything fell into place but the meeting really sparked my spirits.

“The club also have of my old friends and former teammates returning which will make things even more exciting.”

Crane’s dad Alan, a former Tigers coach, described his son and Bull as “thick as thieves” with the camaraderie likely to help the red and whites in the middle of the ground next season.

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