|Name: Matt “Lanis” Lanigan
When did you play for the Falcons?
Why did you come down to the Mighty Falcons Nest?
I came down in 2010 the year after the lads lost the 2009 grand final, to win a flag with my best mate Tiller. I got dropped from the 1’s at St. Pauls for the finals series and did a deal with Tiller that if I won in the 2’s granny and he lost in his granny then I would come and play and we’d win a flag together. We won the 2’s at St. Paul’s and Albert Park got done, so a deal was a deal and that’s how it all began, We were close one year but had an unlucky run with injuries to our captain, ruckman, full forward, and centre half forward all going down right before finals.
Who were the coaches you have had in your time at the club and can you tell us a bit about each of them?
Nathan Dallas and Brendan Payne. Dallas was a very talented footballer and lead by example as he played as well as coached. He had a good knack of getting the team to gel quickly. Very smart football brain, great man. Payney – I was lucky enough to be Payney’s assistant coach the year I made a come back from hip surgery. It was Payney’s first year and he asked if I would be interested in supporting him, I jumped at the opportunity. My role was more player relations and Payney would do the match strategy side of things. I started training with the guys round 3 and was fairly fit and by round 8 we were 1 and 7 and I was fed up so I asked Payney if I could play and he said yeah that’d be great but you have to come through the two’s, so I turned up the next week racked up 40 odd possies and kicked 3 and came off at ¾ time and went through my normal pre match routine with the boys. Both teams won that week and we ended up going from 1 and 7 to 8 and 7, beat the top side with an unbelievable 47 point come back from 10 minutes in the third, and scraped in to the finals. Was a great way to hang my boots up for the club. No flag unfortunately, but that win out in Coburg was one for the memory banks for sure.
Can you give us a few of your highlights both on and off the field since being at the club?
My highlights from the club would have to be being Vice Captain one year and Captaining a few games due to injuries, Assistant Coach and the comeback year was something very special. My greatest highlights from the club off the field probably can’t be published here, but you may get to read them in my book (still work in progress) but one of the best things about Albert Park is the community it creates. I have many good friends that will be friends for life that I never would have met if it wasn’t for this club and it is a credit to the guys involved this year who are doing a great job at keeping that legacy alive.
What are some of the nicknames you have had during your time at the club, and where did they come from?
Lanaconda (the showers), Silky (Tiller), Angry Elbows (Daniel Lyne… something about me throwing cheapies under the packs), Lanis List (I was a nightclub promoter in a former life)
Greatest player you have seen (played with) pull on the mighty Red and Blue?
Besides myself, I would have to say playing with and watching Stu Maunder turn it on was pretty special. In my first couple of years I used to love playing with big Will and have him palm it down my throat at nearly every stoppage and then I’d lay it up lace out to big Kingy or Beamer, that was real good also. In my final year and had a heap of fun linking up with Bricky in the guts, especially during the winning streak previously mentioned.
Greatest Falcons team you have been involved with?
Would have to be the first two years I was at the club 2010, 2011. That was our window and unfortunately we let it slip away, we had some seriously good footballers that year.
Greatest victory you have been involved with?
I did mention one earlier, which I would have to say was one of the best games in my whole 25+ years of playing football and any time that we beat Powerhouse was always good as well. There was a game where we came from behind and beat Hawthorn, I had concussion that day and am vague on the stats, but I think big Stitchy may have turned it on to win us the game. May have to consult with Stitch and Beamer on this.
Most memorable player you have played with?
There are many to choose from here, and I really can’t single one particular one out, however I am going to take a different angle with this question and take this opportunity to point out that I wore the number 21, which was a great honour in itself as only one other player had ever worn that number for Albert Park before me and that was none other than this years Senior coach Shops.
What would you say were your strengths and weaknesses of your game?
Strengths were hard at the footy, knew where the goals were, team first player, loud voice and listened to coaching feedback – Pretty much the basic things you need to do if you want to get a kick haha. Weaknesses definitely were no left foot, but had a mean check side on my right, had been known to get sucked in to the niggle from time to time, especially as I got a little older and slower.
What are you doing now?
I own Lucky Penny on Chapel Street and am working on a new venture in the Real Estate industry.
What is your greatest memory from your time with the Falcons?
In my final year at the Falcons, along with the previous mentioned achievements, we also played Powerhouse last game of the year, the winner would go through to the finals. They knocked us off earlier in the year and we had been on a massive roll, as previously mentioned we turned around 1 and 7 to now be sitting 9 and 8. For us this was a mini Grand Final, and from the start we wanted it way more, we ended up winning by 24 or so points, made the finals and took back the Lake Side Cup. It was a fitting way to close out the home and away games, I’ll tell you in person how the final went 😉