RELIABLE defender Steve Turner’s loyalty to YCW will be rewarded on Saturday when he plays his 200th senior game for the Eagles in the Loddon Valley Football League.
Turner - who a fortnight ago played his 200th club game for the Eagles - will notch the senior milestone when YCW takes on Calivil United at Raywood.
“It has been a long time at the club, but it has been a lot of fun,” Turner said on Friday.
“It’s good to get to the 200. When you get a bit older you question whether you’re going to get there, but I’ve been able to stick it out and get there, so it’s great.”
Turner joined YCW in 2002 having previously played junior football at Quarry Hill and Kennington, before moving into the ranks at Sandhurst.
The 33-year-old’s first season at YCW was met with immediate success when he played in the Eagles’ winning grand final team against Calivil United.
“It was up at Pyramid Hill and really windy that day. The ball kept blowing across one side of the ground all day and I hardly touched it,” Turner recalls of the 9.13 (67) to 4.5 (29) victory.
“I finished the game on the bench and remember running onto the ground after the siren very happy and we had a good couple of days after it.”
As well as his 2002 premiership, Turner - nicknamed Muba - has won two best and fairests (2003 and 2007) as well as two coaches awards (2004 and 2006), while he has also been an LVFL inter-league representative.
He has also been incredibly durable, with Turner having played 199 of a possible 215 senior games since joining the Eagles, with most of his time having been spent in defence.
“It has varied a little bit with some runs in the ruck and on the wing in my younger days, but as I’ve got older I’ve mainly been down back most of the time,” Turner said.
“The odd game I’ve started forward, but by half-time I’d be back in the backline, where I’ve always been comfortable.
“In some ways the backline is an easier position to play because you follow your man and you can see the play coming.”
Meanwhile, the Calivil United-YCW game at Raywood will coincide with a 30-year premiership reunion for Northern United.
Northern United - which folded in 1996 - was based at Raywood and was the Bendigo Football League’s power club of the ’80s.
The Swallows won four premierships in a row, the first of which will be celebrated on Saturday when they beat Eaglehawk in 1984.
The Swallows downed the Hawks 18.16 (124) to 12.10 (82), with Northern United full-forward Ron Best kicking 11 goals in his last game.