Fiercely determined, a competitive beast and an inspirational leader - Blair Holmes is all of that.
Perhaps his greatest trait is something we don't see as much as we should at country clubs - loyalty.
On Saturday, the Sandhurst 2016 premiership captain will play his 200th senior game for his beloved Dragons when they take on traditional rival South Bendigo at the QEO.
It's a milestone the midfielder has craved for some time and one that helped keep the 32-year-old at the club.
At the end of each footy season for the past five or six years Holmes' phone has run out with offers from district football clubs.
"There were a few years where I was close to leaving,'' Holmes said.
"It was a tough decision because you get clubs offering some big money that's hard to refuse.
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"I spoke with my wife about it and it always came down to not wanting to leave Sandhurst because I'd never been unhappy at Sandhurst.
"I play footy for the enjoyment and being around my mates. I work a day job to pay the bills and the mortgage... I don't play footy for the money.
"I get to play on the QEO, play with my mates, we won one premiership in 2016 and I think I've played finals basically every year.
"(Not leaving Sandhurst) was the right decision. I'm very happy that I stayed."
Holmes played his first senior game as a 16-year-old in 2006 against Kangaroo Flat under the guidance of coach David Collins.
To put that into perspective, many of Holmes' senior team-mates this Saturday were in Grade Prep or at kindergarten at that time.
"I started at the club when I was 15 in the under-18s, had a couple of stints with the Bendigo Pioneers and Bendigo Bombers and now I'm nearly 33, so it's been a long time in the making,'' Holmes said.
"Two years of COVID didn't help, but I'm finally getting there and I feel very lucky to have done it at such a great club where I've played with and met so many great people."
For 199 senior games Holmes has used his body as a battering ram.
He comfortably sits on the top shelf of BFNL inside midfielders over the past decade.
His ability to win a contested ball or lay a big tackle have been a feature of his game.
Opposition midfielders knew they were in for a tough day when they lined-up next to the Sandhurst number 14.
"It's the only way I know to play my footy,'' Holmes said.
"I'm not going to outrun anyone, I'm not going to outmark anyone, so I have to play to my strengths.
"My strength is to be an in and under footballer that you can rely on when the game gets a bit tough or you need some aggression.
"I like playing against the better sides in the bigger games because you know there's going to be times when you have to show some aggression and make your stamp on the game.
"If I can do that then it brings my team-mates with me. That's the way I captained for seven years."
Holmes' leadership at Sandhurst drew high praise from 2016 premiership coach Wayne Primmer this week.
Primmer, who played 40 games for Essendon in the late 1970s, has been involved in country footy for more than three decades.
"For what Blair did for that club on and off the field, he's the best captain I've seen in my time in country footy,'' Primmer said.
"I haven't seen anyone lead a side the way he did for the two years I had at Sandhurst.
"I look back now and it was such a pleasure for me to stand on the dias and hold the premiership cup with him in 2016."
Primmer admitted he tried to poach Holmes after he left Sandhurst to coach Heathcote.
"When I coached Heathcote I rang him a couple of years in a row to try and get him out there in a coaching capacity,'' Primmer said.
"He always said to me that he wanted to get to 200 games with Sandhurst. I respected that. It showed how much he loves the club."
Current Sandhurst coach Ashley Connick would love nothing more than to see his side collect the four points in Holmes' big game.
"Blair is a great Sandhurst person,'' Connick said of Holmes.
"He's done everything that could be done at the footy club. For someone that's always dedicated himself to the betterment of the team, I know this (milestone) means a lot to him.
"The younger guys look up to him and the older guys that have played a lot with him respect him for what he's done for them.
"He makes everyone walk a bit taller. He's just tough - he's dished it out, but he's also copped a lot. When he does cop it he just dusts it off and goes to the next contest.
"He's a coach's dream."
For Holmes, there'd be no better way to celebrate the milestone than signing the club song with his mates in the rooms under the famous QEO grandstand.
"A lot of us have grown up together,'' Holmes said.
"The relationships a lot of us have are that best mate kids of relationship. That mateship keeps everyone around the club.
"There's not a lot of politics around our club which helps. We love the vibe of the club.
"We haven't won a game yet this year, but we knew we had a hard draw to start the season. We've been in both games up until the final quarter and we've had some lapses that have cost us.
"This week is a must-win game for us. We're playing some good footy, we just need to string together four quarters of footy."
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