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Flag vindicates Smith’s switch to Cats

Norm Smith Medallist Isaac Smith says claiming his fourth AFL premiership with Geelong vindicates his call to switch allegiances from fierce rivals Hawthorn.

Smith, a triple-premiership winner and 210-game Hawk, opted not to see out his career in brown and gold and crossed to Geelong in search of more success at the end of 2020.

It paid off handsomely in his 48th Cats appearance on Saturday, when Smith, 33, was best on ground in their thumping 81-point grand final victory over Sydney.

“It was a tough decision, a few sleepless nights but as I sit right now, it seems like it was a pretty good decision,” Smith told the Nine Network’s Sunday Footy Show.

“I’ve had nothing but a good time down at Geelong the last two years and the community have embraced me and my family.

“It’s been a wonderful time.”

Smith claimed the medal after he collected 32 disposals, booted three goals and also racked up 14 score involvements, 11 inside-50s, five clearances, a dozen marks and a game-high 771 metres gained.

“You can’t really hear much on the ground,” he said.

“I did hear my name get called out, though, which was lovely but as we sit now and even then I felt a little bit silly, a little bit embarrassed and a little bit awkward with it to be honest.

“These individual awards don’t often come my way and it felt a bit surreal.”

There has been plenty of focus on Geelong’s ageing playing group, which was amplified when Smith and Shaun Higgins, joined in the same off-season.

But Smith wouldn’t bite on whether Geelong had proved people wrong.

“I’m relatively new to this group and there has been a hell of a lot of hard work go in over the last decade,” he said.

“This group has had their knockers with how the team’s been set up.

“But the boys have just toiled away and the football department’s done an unbelievable job and it’s amazing how humble this group is.”

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