Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NORM SMITH Medal winner and Hawthorn premiership player Brian Lake has described the feeling of winning the 2013 flag as "unbelievable".

Lake arrived at Hawthorn with a dream and a heart full of hope in October 2012 after being traded to the Club from the Bulldogs.

In his first press conference as a Hawk, the veteran full back declared he wanted to come to Hawthorn to play in Grand Finals and to win premierships.

It took just 21 games for Lake to make his dream a reality.

"On the first day when I arrived at Hawthorn, the plan was to play in a premiership," he told

"On Saturday, finally getting the medal was a very surreal feeling and it still hasn't really sunk in yet.

"It has been a busy three or four days so I'm looking forward to now relaxing and spending some time with my family and soaking it up and hopefully, actually watching the game."

Obviously, Lake's fondest memory of Saturday's Grand Final was the sound of the final siren to crown Hawthorn as 2013's premier team.

Overcome with relief at finally achieving his dream, Lake couldn't wait to share the moment with his teammates and then, shortly after, his family.

Known at the Family Club, emotion overcame everyone at the MCG as Lake, Captain Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell and Shaun Burgyone ran to the players race to share the moment with their children.

A raucous roar, almost as big as that let out by the fans as the final siren rang filled the MCG stands as the quartet hugged and kissed their kids and took them into the middle of the MCG.

"It was unbelievable when the siren went - I just stuck the hands up in the air," Lake said.

"There was relief more than anything and excitement obviously and you just want to get around the boys as quickly as possible and then over to the boundary line where my mum and dad were and some family and friends as well.

"To experience it with them and then when you see the kids running out onto the ground it was just fantastic."

As if the script couldn't be written any better, Lake was later announced as the 2013 Norm Smith medallist by Carlton and AFL great, Greg Williams.

Lake finished the game with 22 disposals and 10 marks to beat teammates Jack Gunston by one vote for best on ground.

Despite being one of Hawthorn's best and a worthy winner of the Norm Smith, he didn't expect it.

"I didn't expect it," he said.

"It was one of those days where everything did fall my way – there were a couple of occasions where my opponent was in front of me and the ball maybe bounced over their head and fell in my lap.

"It was just good really, to have a good game. To play in my first Grand Final and to play well for the side and help contribute to a premiership win, it's just a great feeling."

A popular player with his teammates of 21 matches, Lake was mobbed by the Hawthorn players who were well aware of just what this meant to the 31 year old.

The reaction of the players was surreal for Lake, who admits he was embarrassed by the attention amidst the shock of being named as the best player on ground in the winning Grand Final team.

"Everyone got around me and messed my hair up a little bit so I was actually a little bit embarrassed and a little bit shy," he revealed.

"I didn't know what to say when I got up there (to accept the medal).

"What a great honour, I don't think there are too many people at Hawthorn that have won a Norm Smith and as a defender as well to win it, it just means a lot more to me."

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