At Carousel Shopping Centre in Cannington last weekend, there were two drawcards attracting queues of shoppers.
One line was there for Santa. An even longer line was there for Dom Sheed, the man with the golden boot who will for ever be remembered for delivering West Coast’s fourth premiership courtesy of a precise left foot and a cool head.
Life will regain some sense of normality for Sheed when he returns to training on Monday, nine weeks after seizing his moment in front of 100,022 people at the MCG.
But training can wait. The 23-year-old midfielder will be presented with the keys to the city in his hometown of Kalgoorlie-Boulder on Sunday, when he rides down historic Hannan Street in front of a monster truck as part of the city’s annual St Barbara’s Festival Parade.
Sheed will receive his golden key 24 years after 1994 Norm Smith medallist Dean Kemp, another local favourite, was bestowed the same honour.
Assistant coach Jaymie Graham, another Goldfields product, will also be celebrated today for his role in the Eagles’ flag, which came 12 years after he was dropped for the 2006 grand final as a player.
In a remarkable stroke of serendipity, Sheed is a product of the same Mines Rovers Football Club in the Goldfields Football League that produced Joe Fanchi more than half a century ago. In 1961, Fanchi was dubbed the original golden boot after his late goal secured WA’s famous victory in the 1961 national carnival in Brisbane.
A man in demand wherever he has gone since the last Saturday in September, Sheed said he was looking forward to returning to the routine of pre-season training.
“It’s been pretty hectic. After a while you try and move on and get on with it, but then you constantly have people every day asking you about it,” he said.
“It’s changed my life massively, you know. All I ever wanted to do as a kid was to win a flag and that happened. So I’m very fortunate.
“It’s great to get the support from all the Eagles fans, Perth fans and Kalgoorlie fans. I really enjoy hearing their stories and where they were watching the game and how happy they were.
“So it’s actually quite hard to park it and get on with next season. But it’s all about to quieten down now. Pre-season’s about to start — a bit of normality. That will be good.”
Sheed is yet to sit down and watch a full replay of West Coast’s absorbing five-point premiership win over Collingwood, but hasn’t been able to avoid numerous replays of the biggest kick of his life.
He describes the feeling of watching the moment back as surreal.
“It is a strange feeling. I don’t remember a whole lot about the actual kick and what happened. So to go back and watch it like that, it’s good,” Sheed said.
“I haven’t seen the whole game. I’ve seen snippets. But I don’t think I realise just how big that play was just yet.
“I’m looking forward to sitting down one day soon and enjoying the game. It will be interesting to see what kind of emotions you get from going back over and watching the game.”
The wingman modestly conceded if he took the same shot 10 times, he didn’t expect his conversion rate would be high. But his confidence in taking the set shot from a tight angle was fuelled by the warm-up.
“I had two from there before the game and I kicked them both. So when I marked it I thought ‘I’m a chance here’,” Sheed said.
“I’m not sure how many out of 10, but not too many I would have thought. Three from three that day, when it counted.”
Sheed, who has played 78 games since his debut in 2014, will play the rest of his career knowing that moment will never be topped.
Having starred on grand final day with 32 touches and shared the club’s player of the finals award with Jack Redden, his stocks have never been higher.
It’s easy to forget after his grand final heroics that Sheed was dropped three times last season, finding his way back into the side in round 21 to replace Andrew Gaff after his moment of madness in the western derby ended his season prematurely.
“I wouldn’t say it goes a long way to cementing your spot, but it certainly helps with my confidence personally to be able to play a good level of footy on the biggest stage,” Sheed said.
“I’ve got to continue to improve, continue to get better. I didn’t have the year I wanted to individually.”