Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Blighty veterans chalk up 200 games

Jarrod Andrews has narrowly beaten his friend and captain, Kyel Bain, in the race to 200 senior games for the Redeyes.

SHAUN CONNOR August 8, 2014 4:00am

Kyel Bain and Jarrod Andrews (in headlock) chalk up their 200th senior games for Blighty just a week apart from one another.

Kyel Bain and Jarrod Andrews have grown up at the Blighty Football Club, enjoying success and battling through tough times together.

So it seems fitting then that they would play their 200th senior games within a week of each other, accomplishing a rare milestone among Redeyes.

Andrews notched up his double ton in last week’s loss to Jerilderie, while Blighty skipper Bain achieves the feat against Mathoura tomorrow.

The long-time, and proudly loyal, Redeyes could only think of five others to have played 200 senior games at their beloved club: Craig Gallpen, Rob Daniel, Bruce Macdonald and father and son Sonny and Tristan Wilson.

‘‘It’s just a great club to be a part of and there is a real community about it,’’ 34 year-old Andrews said.

‘‘I remember when the club struggled on field after being pretty strong in 2000-01, but it was still a great place to be.

‘‘Jake (Rob) Daniel came out of retirement to coach us and we had a lot of good times, on and off the field.’’

Bain, 28, played his first senior game as a 16 year-old in 2003 and can attest to the many good times had at Blighty Recreation Reserve.

A star goalkicker when he was in the thirds, Bain now plays in the midfield and says ‘‘rough blokes don’t get votes’’.

That’s why he only has a fourths best and fairest trophy in his cabinet, but anyone who plays with him would choose no other leader.

‘‘I haven’t been lucky enough to win a flag and that’s the only thing I want. I haven’t even played in a grand final before,’’ Bain said.

‘‘I’ve just loved playing with all my mates over the years and a highlight for me would be playing in the same senior game as my dad, Gilbert, and brother Ash in 2004.

‘‘It’s also a pretty big honour to captain your local side.’’

Having played his first senior game in 1997, injury and two years away from the club kept Andrews away from the milestone, but he’s quick to point out he got to game no. 200 before Bain did.

A mulitple runner-up best and fairest in the seniors, Andrews hopes to play in at least one flag before he hangs up the boots in the next few years.

‘‘I played in a losing seconds grand final in 1999 and in the seniors’ loss in 2001,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ll see how I go, but I can’t imagine I’ll be playing too much longer.’’

Bain and Andrews are just two of the local Blighty boys who stuck around to become veteran Redeyes, each of them reaching milestones in 2014.

Tristan Wilson played his 200th senior game earlier this year and Ash Bain notched up his 200th club game (seniors and reserves) last week.

All things going to plan, Michael Norman will play his 300th club game before the year is out.

‘‘I’ll keep playing as long as my body holds up,’’ Kyel said.

‘‘I want to play more games than my old man, but I’ve got a bit to go because he had about 400 (seniors and reserves).’’

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