Queensland footy: Adding to the past 30 years

As far as local football in Central Queensland is concerned, there are just 8 days remaining in the season. Disappointingly the only involvement Brothers will be having is hosting the Preliminary Final on Saturday September 1 at our Kele Park ground. Even more disappointing was the manner in which the reserves season ended and the fact that I could not do a thing about it with the calf injury suffered before the last round not recovering in time.

The main reason however for touching base this time is to recap the 30th anniversary celebration, and while not everyone was able to attend there was still a sense of pride in the club and jumper. All of the life members over 30 years were recognised with a small token (a pin) being presented, again proving the little things mean so much. My old man is part of the life member group, although it’s something he doesn’t really bring up unless he’s consumed a few ales (I suppose I’d better be careful, he’s my chauffeur to Brisbane this weekend, more on that later).

Like the 20th anniversary dinner held in 2002, a team of the decade was announced spanning 2002-2011. Twelve of the XXII selected were in attendance and all seemed honoured and privileged by their selection. The team is as follows….

B: Matthew COLEMAN (C), Tom GRANLEESE, Errol ROE
HB: Roy WEST (sole survivor from 1992-2001 team), Adam WILLIAMS, Peter O’BRIEN
F: Aiden COLBOURNE (dec.), Tim GROSE, Trent CAROLAN
R: Craig REDWAY, Michael MOORE, Brendan RIDGLEY

Of that team, only two players would miss out on playing in a senior premiership (Redway retired after 2004, O’Brien would play in the 2010 reserves flag), and I would play at least a solitary game with every member of the side except for full-back Granleese (who now is playing coach of the New England Nomads who have a Grand Final this weekend against Inverell). There were 4 players (Carolan, Adams, Pollock and Dawson) who all appeared for the club at Junior level, which hopefully is a sign of things to come when we have to pick the next side 10 years from now.

Something that proved popular throughout the night was having statistics on the back of place mats which were photographic montages covering 30 years. Unfortunately spelling doesn’t seem to be a strength with several surnames and first names being incorrectly spelt. The one that I took most notice of were the trio that included games played for the club for every decade. These lists combined senior and reserves matches, and while only a select few made the 200 games marker overall, just 9 players managed to make 100 appearances in the blue and white in senior and reserve ranks for the most recent 10 years prior to 2012.

137: Matthew COLEMAN (Majority in Seniors)
127: A wannabe writer for the Footy Almanac christened Michael Howard JEFFREY!
126: Brad MATHESON
123: Peter O’BRIEN
121: Steven SMITHWICK
111: Rob AKERS (Almost all in Reserves)
106: Tony BOOLE
106: Gary TURNBULL
100: John COTTON (Almost all in Reserves)

There was another bright spot to the night on a personal note, when it was revealed that I am still a part of the father-son combination that has played most club games, a record that may well grow given there are at least another 3 younger brothers to start playing yet. While I cannot recall the exact figure of matches it certainly was close to the 300 marker, several of which were played in the same team. Yet I always seemed to feel the need to pass the ball to the old man instead of going for the big torpedo from outside 50 for some reason.

With no local commitments remaining for the season on the field, it becomes a busy September away from the paddock. This weekend I’m in Brisbane for the Lions-Bulldogs clash, and as of last weekend I added the Bridge 2 Brisbane run to the schedule (I’m doing the 5km event due to the calf issues, if fully fit I would have completed the full 10km). Next week it’s the AFL Capricornia Grand Final at the Cricket Grounds, with BITS to face either Glenmore or Gladstone in the decider which may become a twilight affair considering the senior game will be the 6th Grand Final played on the Day (Under 13, 15 & 17, Reserves and Women’s the other 5). After a week off, it’s Club presentation night on the 22nd of September, then clashing with the AFL GF is my sister’s wedding which I have to attend OR ELSE…..After that it will be time to contemplate pre-season, the 2nd last that I intend to participate in having resolved to reach the 200 club games marker before calling it quits, which will take at least 2 seasons.

Better get packing for Brisbane then I suppose!

About Mick Jeffrey

39 Year Old, 16 year Bulldogs. over 280 combined senior/reserves appearances for Brothers AFC in AFL Capricornia. 26 time Marathon finisher, three time Ultra Marathon finisher and three time Comrades Marathon competitor (though not finisher yet).

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