Jackson the rock
Thursday, 07 July 2016
Declan Jackson’s football story is one of hard work and persistence.
Jackson moved to Perth to play for Subiaco in 2011 and quickly developed a reputation as a no-nonsense defender for the Colts. The well-built Collie kid was touted as an exciting prospect and by 2014 he was playing regular senior football for the reserves.
Jackson found the perfect mentor whilst waiting in the wings in six-time premiership player Darren Rumble; who had occupied the fullback position for the Subiaco Lions since 2004.
The Lions won flags in 2014 and 2015 and although the youngster believed he was ready to contribute, the extra wait ultimately paid off.
“I probably would have liked to play league during those 2014-15 seasons but in hindsight i’m glad I did that apprenticeship, it gave me time to learn the tricks of the trade.” said Jackson
If I had been exposed to league football that early I would have been thrown into the deep end.”
During that apprenticeship Jackson learnt from the winningness player in Subiaco history, Darren Rumble.
“Rumba and I had a pretty close relationship and we still catch up regularly.” said Jackson
“I think one of his best features is that he’s a really good leader on a personal level. He was never the vocal one booming over the entire group but he connects one-on-one with people really well. He taught me a lot about football on and off the field.”
Jackson hunts down West Perth's Michael Lourey
When Rumble retired after the 2015 Premiership the obvious suitor for his position was 21-year-old Declan Jackson. Since then he has been taking the best key forwards the WAFL has to offer.
“It was definitely a step up starting on the best opposition key forward each week. You absorb a lot of the pressure and you need to build trust with the guys around you.
“Luckily I’ve played a couple of years with most of the guys like Chris Bryan, Greg Clark, Aaron Heal so the chemistry is there. We can definitely rely on each other and react off each others’ cues.” said Jackson
Jackson has played on ex-AFL Beau Maister, Michael Lourey, Brett Peake and Bernie Naylor Medallist Ben Saunders in 2016 but gives credit to Swans youngster Ricky Cary as the hardest opponent.
“There’s been some tough opponents. Maister was a challenge because of his tank but in regards to overall talent i’d say Swans Ricky Cary.”
The Lions are on top of the ladder with only a handful of games remaining. Jackson is hoping for some fine tuning and a couple of wins.
“Obviously we’d like to finish with six wins. We’ve got a few goals as a back-line in regards to playing certain teams and were still focussed on nailing that chemistry before finals.” said Jackson
Subiaco play Perth at Lathlain Park on Saturday. Bounce down 2:15