Five minutes into the BFNL grand final, Strathfieldsaye star Kallen Geary thought it wasn’t going to be his day.
“I think it was my first kick of the day and I sprayed it out of bounds on the full. It was horrible,’’ Geary said. “I thought I was in for a bad day.”
Two-and-a-half hours later Geary had two medals around his neck – a premiership medal and the Nalder Medal for best man on the ground against Eaglehawk.
“Premiership medallion is the one that everyone wants and that’s what counts the most,’’ Geary said. “Obviously, it’s a massive honour (to win the Nalder Medal), but I’d give it up in a second for the premiership medal.”
Geary was superb across half-back for the first three quarters of the game before being moved to the forward line for the decisive final term.
“Darryl put it on us at three quarter-time and we got lucky,’’ Geary said.
“We had to kick the first goal of that final quarter in the first few minutes to give us that belief. Once we kicked a couple we got on a roll and the game was ours.”
Geary kicked one goal and had a hand in a couple of others as the Storm kicked 9.1 to 0.3 in the final term.
“We’ve done it three or four times where I’ve gone forward late in the game,’’ Geary said.
“Darryl said we can’t save the game, we’ve got to win it. The forward line opened up a bit in the last quarter and Sharpy took advantage.
“The wind was tough all day, but by the last quarter we adjusted well and we started to kick the ball to the right spots in the forward line. That made it easier to kick goals.”
To rub salt into Eaglehawk’s wounds, this year marks 10 years since Geary was best on ground for the Borough in the 2007 under-18 grand final.
He went on to play for the Bendigo Pioneers at TAC Cup level, with Sandringham in the VFL and Broadbeach in Queensland before returning to his home town in 2015.
With older brothers Daniel and Shannon heavily tied up with Strathfieldsaye, Kallen elected to play with the Storm rather than Eaglehawk.
“Eaglehawk is a proud club and I always supported Eaglehawk,’’ Geary said.
“Eaglehawk is the only other club I’d play for in Bendigo. We had that relationship with Strathfieldsaye, so that’s why I chose to play here.”