This weekend Junior is playing his 250th game along with Ash Carter who plays his 200th game. So i took sometime and asked the club legend about how to all started.
How did you come to play for the Blues all those years ago?
After playing up until Year 12 at Marist (1998), I wouldn’t say I was 100% committed on continuing footy, but my brother Damian (Chugger) was playing for the Blues with blokes such as Wayne Harmer, Tim Sharman, Wayne Bennett and Eric Parkin. Went along to training – I was a bit of a lanky, skinny 18-19 year old believe it or not, and got knocked around a bit – but I loved it! Great bunch of blokes and all really good mates so I was made to feel welcome from day one – much like it is now at the Blues.
Do you remember your first game for the Woden Blues?
Hell no – it was 18 years ago. I remember running around aimlessly trying to look like I knew what I was doing. Probably avoiding heavy body contact from blokes twice my size and age. Now I am that bloke.
What’s the one game that has stuck in your memory for the Blues?
2008 Elimination Final VS Murrumbidgee (Molonglo). I was playing in the backline marking Dean Hill (who still plays and I played on last week). I had done a reasonable job on him all day. We were up by 29pts at Half Time, but only by 3pts at 3QT.
Late in the last quarter, with a couple of minutes to go, we were up by 2pts and Hilly marked pretty much on the corner of the goal square, or a metre or so back. I thought I’d let the game slip in the final moments but he hit the post, the siren went and we won by 1 point…
This is obviously one that sticks in my mind for personal reasons, but when you’re 5 flags from 5 Grand Finals, you can’t have one favourite flag over any of the others, can you?
Your 200th game is still fresh in my memory, how is your 250th game different?
It’s no different. Same job, same mind-set. Stoked to be sharing it on Carts’ 200th and pumped that I know if we play our best footy we can smash ADFA and set up a Top of the Ladder finish (us old blokes could do with a week off after the first final…)
You’ve played for the Blues for a lot of years. You must have a “best of footy trip” in the years being at the club?
A few things spring to mind, and apologies, only a few will find them funny due to their context but:
– Drinking “Angus Brut” or “Anus Butt” as it became known, from the bottle at the races with Stabbzy and Razza;
– Rich Wharton paying the busker with his underpants;
– 8:00am during a business day CBD Melbourne rush, offering random business people our secret “brew” in take-away coffee cups after an all-nighter with Starky and Lawny.
You’ve played in every Blues Grand Final there has been, what has been your favourite moment?
It was nice beating Murrumbidgee (Molonglo) in two Grand Finals in the early 2000’s but to be honest it felt better knocking them out in the Prelim in 2016 and seeing Ray Jackson cry beneath my feet.
Actual GF moments though? Not sure, I hope to have some more in about a month, I’ll tell you then…