AT the start of the season Cameron Grant’s intentions for 2018 were no more than to simply pull the boots back on with his mates at Newbridge and run around in the reserves.
And that’s how the season started for Grant, but it will finish on Saturday with his third opportunity to capture that elusive first senior premiership with the Maroons.
Grant will be part of the Maroons’ senior team that takes on Mitiamo in Saturday’s Loddon Valley league grand final at Bridgewater.
“I had a year off last year and only just came back at the start of the season to have a kick with my mates in the twos,” Grant said on Wednesday.
“I thought it would probably be the last opportunity I’d get to play with a few mates, including my brother (Ash), so it was just about coming back and having some fun… I certainly didn’t think I’d find myself in this position.”
Grant, 31, has played seven games in the seniors as part of a stingy Maroons’ defence and 10 in the reserves this year and is hoping it will be a case of third time lucky on Saturday.
While he was part of Newbridge’s 2013 reserves premiership team, he is 0-2 in senior grand finals, having been thwarted by two dynasty teams both times.
In 2007 he was a member of the Newbridge team that lost to Calivil United by 27 points in what was the fifth flag of the Demons’ run of six in a row.
And in 2012 he was in the Newbridge side that was beaten by Bridgewater by 65 points – the third of what was the Mean Machine’s record of seven-straight flags.
“To win a senior grand final is a goal I’ve always had and no doubt you think about missed opportunities and moments in those games where you wish you could have done something different,” Grant said.
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“You never know if you’re going to get another opportunity to play in a senior grand final. It’s what you play footy for, so it’s great I’ll get another chance this Saturday.”
Grant first played senior football for the Maroons in 2004 when Tony Graham was coach – his debut game was a loss to Bears Lagoon-Serpentine – and this year ticked over 200 club games for Newbridge.
Newbridge is gunning for its first senior flag since 2000.
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