David Mundy has been such a constant for Fremantle during the past 15 seasons that it’s easy to forget the transformations he has made.
The boy from a footballing family in Seymour, Victoria, was recruited as a key defender at No.19 in the 2003 AFL Draft. He played 19 games for Subiaco in 2004 and lined up at centre half back in the WAFL grand final when the Lions beat Claremont by 48 points. While he didn’t burst straight into AFL ranks in that first year on the Dockers list there was something about his poise under pressure that made it look like he would take the next step.
Mundy made his AFL debut in round six 2005 at the MCG against Melbourne. It was a weird game. Luke McPharlin started at full forward, Mundy was on the wing. A couple of his early kicks gave McPharlin the chance to fly and the sometimes forward pulled in a couple of screamers.
I was there. After one McPharlin goal and I called out, “That was your goal David Mundy!” A whole row of Freo fans in front on me turned around. They were smiling. I assumed they were the Seymour crew. The Dockers were one fire. The Demons were on fire. McPharlin kicked six goals, Jeff Farmer got seven against his old team. David Neitz scored six for Melbourne and Ben Holland five. The final score was Fremantle 22.11 (143) Melbourne 20.9 (129). I haven’t checked but I reckon it’s the highest scoring AFL game Mundy has played in.
Mundy was in the team to stay and as the Dockers emerged in 2005 and then rocketed into a preliminary final in 2006 he became an important running defender who, along with Roger Hayden and Heath Black, gave the Dockers a point of difference.
With his clean ball handling and potent kicking it was no surprise when Mundy transitioned into the midfield but there was more to come. He got bigger and much stronger. During Fremantle’s successful period from 2012 to 2015 Mundy seemed to realise he could – and maybe should – start barging through packs. He became a kind of smooth moving bulldozer mixing brute strength with subtle skills.
As he approaches 300 Mundy’s output hasn’t diminished – I thought he was Fremantle’s best player in 2018, he’s played a vital role this year in the wins over North Melbourne, St Kilda and GWS and his derby performance was one of his best.
There will be many more weeks of Mundy.