IT TOOK a little bit longer than she would have liked, but Lauren Miller finally played her 150th game for Eaglehawk on Saturday.
A few niggling injuries and a recent trip overseas all conspired to keep the experienced Hawks defender from notching the milestone sooner.
There's also the matter of this season being her first back at Canterbury Park since 2012, the year of the Hawks' last A-grade flag.
In the meantime there has been time off for the birth of her and husband Henry's three children - Sam, Annabel and Ted - and a couple of years spent playing in the Loddon Valley league at Calivil United.
This is her fourth stint at Eaglehawk, following previous ones in 2003-04, 2006-08 and 2010-12.
While she didn't get the fairy tale win she craved, with Eaglehawk going down to Kangaroo Flat by two goals and losing its opportunity to secure the double chance, Miller was quick to cast aside the disappointment and reflect on an amazing off-and-on again journey with Eaglehawk.
"I started in 2003, so it's taken a long time with a few breaks here and there, but I am really proud to be a part of Eaglehawk," she said.
"I have made some of my best friends playing at Eaglehawk, and obviously met Henry here.
"I've loved coming back here this year and playing with all the young girls and having a different role.
"There's been a lot of little injuries - the body is letting me down - and I don't find much time to recover with the three little kids.
"Hopefully I can now push through for finals."
Miller spent the game opposed to Kangaroo Flat wing attack Milly Wicks, a former inter-league representative about 14-years her junior.
It was a match-up the Hawks' 2011 best and fairest gladly settled for, after earlier in the season lining up on Milly's younger sister Ella, who is nearly 17 years younger than Miller.
"I was at the nightclubs when they were in nappies," Miller joked.
"Before the season started, knowing I was going to be playing against some girls I taught in primary school, I was a bit anxious.
"They're a lot faster. But I have a lot of fun coming up against (Sandhurst's) Meg Williams and the like ... they are showing me a few things.
"I don't have the impact I used to, but I am just trying to do what the coaches ask of me and play my part in the team."
Despite finishing the minor rounds in fourth spot , Miller is adamant the Hawks have the talent and will to seriously compete for a grand final berth in one of the tightest BFNL seasons in history.
"This is the year to do it (win from fourth), I feel any of the top five teams could win the granny," she said.
"It's been interesting watching which teams have beaten certain teams and not others.
"Until last week when Sandhurst did it, we were the only team to have beaten Gisborne and before today (Saturday), Sandhurst were the only team to have beaten us (the Hawks drew twice during the regular season with South Bendigo and once with Kangaroo Flat)."
Miller revealed she also retained her soft spot for Calivil United, which faces Newbridge in Sunday's LVFNL semi-final, with the winner advancing to a preliminary final against Bridgewater.
It was a day of double milestones for the Hawks, with star centre Ashley Ryan notching up her 50th game for the club.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.