Best-on-ground medal adds to Baird’s memorable Vic Country debut

WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Bendigo's Andrew Collins, Jack Geary and Adam Baird were all part of Victoria Country's win over Victoria Metro at Ballarat's MARS Stadium by 25 points last Sunday. Picture: JULIE BAIRD

WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Bendigo's Andrew Collins, Jack Geary and Adam Baird were all part of Victoria Country's win over Victoria Metro at Ballarat's MARS Stadium by 25 points last Sunday. Picture: JULIE BAIRD

ADAM BAIRD has built up an enviable collection of representative jumpers throughout his football career; the latest addition a Big V with accompanying best-on-ground medal that will take pride of place.

Baird was among three Bendigo league players, along with Golden Square team-mate Jack Geary and Sandhurst coach Andrew Collins, who were part of Victoria Country’s 25-point win over Victoria Metro at Ballarat last Sunday.

The chance to represent Victoria Country for the first time is a game Baird says he will always cherish, particularly with the added accolade he earned of being named best on ground.

For those who have followed Baird’s career, such an honour shouldn’t come as any surprise given the 28-year-old has forged a reputation as a big game player on the grand final and inter-league stage.

“It was an unreal experience last Sunday… I’ve always cherished playing inter-league footy and to be able to step up and do it for Vic Country was awesome,” Baird said on Wednesday.

“I’ve kept all my inter-league jumpers over the years and I’d say the Vic Country one with the medal in it is going to be framed… it means a lot to me.”

Baird – a four-time Golden Square premiership player – spent the game playing through the midfield for Victoria Country, collecting 22 possessions, kicking a goal and applying plenty of tackle pressure in the clash dubbed the Bush v Burbs.

“It was a bit surreal getting the medal given there was so many good players playing. It’s not something I expected and it probably took until the next day before it sunk in,” Baird said.

As well as Baird, Collins on a wing and regular representative Geary in an unfamiliar role in defence also played fine games for Victoria Country, which won 12.17 (89) to 9.10 (64).

Collins also earned a medal from the match, with Victoria Metro’s coaching staff naming him Victoria Country’s best player.

The Victoria Country team was coached by Danny Frawley, who indicated after the game he’d like to see next year’s match against the Victorian Amateurs played as a curtain-raiser to an AFL game at either the MCG or Etihad Stadium.

“If I’m not injured I’d definitely be doing my best to play in that game if it comes off… that would be unreal,” Baird said.

Meanwhile, after last weekend’s general bye the BFNL returns this Saturday with round 12 matches.

Saturday’s games – Kangaroo Flat v Sandhurst (1.50pm), Golden Square v Castlemaine, Gisborne v Eaglehawk, South Bendigo v Maryborough, Strathfieldsaye v Kyneton.