THEY say home is where the heart is and for David Wright, that's White Hills.
That was reaffirmed when Wright spent one season at Golden Square in the under-18s in 2005.
While he enjoyed his stint at Wade Street, it just wasn't the same as Wright's beloved White Hills, where on Saturday the hard-nut is set to become what's believed to be the first player in the club's Heathcote District league era to play 250 senior games.
Wright will reach the milestone at Scott Street when his Demons host Leitchville-Gunbower in round eight.
"I'm looking forward to Saturday... it's something to be proud of," Wright said this week.
"I've played all my footy at White Hills apart from one year at Golden Square in the under-18s in 2005 and then I just had to go back home because I love it so much there.
"I enjoyed my year at Square, but it just wasn't the same as White Hills, which is home.
"The club has a great family atmosphere and we've always had a tight-knit club in terms of the footballers and netballers and that's something I've really enjoyed and why it's easy to keep coming back each year."
The club has a great family atmosphere and we've always had a tight-knit club in terms of the footballers and netballers and that's something I've really enjoyed and why it's easy to keep coming back each year- David Wright
Wright got his first taste of senior football with the Demons in 2004 - a year the side made the grand final - debuting against Lockington-Bamawm United under coach Jim Angove.
"I was only 15 years old and Lockington had an experienced team back then with some big boys, so it was a bit daunting, that's for sure," Wright recalled.
Angove is the first of a lengthy list of senior coaches Wright has played under during his White Hills' career, which also includes Brian Walsh, Matt Sawyer, Brent Dyer, Jason Stevens, Shaun Makepeace, Carl Hardingham, Brent Millar, Sam Kerridge and now Jack Fallon.
Throughout his senior career at the Demons the bulk of 33-year-old Wright's time has been spent playing either as a tough and reliable half-back or through the midfield.
Wright has captained the Demons in two stints from 2012-14 and 2018-21 and would have reached his 250-game milestone two years ago had it not been for the COVID-abandoned 2020 season.
"Having that whole season off in 2020 wasn't great timing because we had recruited well and were starting to build into something really good," Wright said.
"And then last year it was hard with the motivation as one week you'd be playing and the next you wouldn't, but my love of the game is still really strong."
Included in Wright's senior CV with the Demons is winning the 2015 best and fairest, as well as representing Heathcote District in inter-league, while he is already both a White Hills and HDFNL life member.
Former coach Jason Stevens describes Wright's club loyalty, commitment to his team-mates and willingness to compete as the equal to anyone he has coached.
Another of his former coaches, Brent Millar, said Wright's "hard-nosed, but fair" approach to the footy made him one of the league's most respected players, while Demons' president Tony Gellatly describes him as an "inspirational leader".
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