Jarrod Chapman will line up for his 200th game for Undera on Saturday and also has his sights set on leading the Lions' reserves to a premiership.By Marc McGowan
You know the drill.
Player intends to stay for only a couple of years, player falls in love with the place, player never leaves.
Undera footballer Jarrod Chapman is one of those players.
The 34-year-old learned how to play at Kyabram and graduated to senior ranks there, but a search for greater opportunity and the chance to be an assistant coach led him to the Lions in 2004.
Chapman’s wife Jenna, who is Rochester coach Peter White’s daughter, joined him and they never looked back.
He racks up game number 200, including nearly 150 senior matches, for Undera against Tallygaroopna on Saturday.
‘‘You don’t realise those sorts of things come along until they do. You just go about playing footy at your club and do what you do,’’ Chapman said.
‘‘I’ll be pretty proud of it, but, in the end, it’s just another game. We’ve got finals around the corner and that’s more important at this stage.’’
Any career as long as Chapman’s has its ups and downs.
He won the Lions’ senior best-and-fairest award in 2004 — something he was proud of and described as special — after doing the same twice at reserves level for Kyabram.
The 2009 season was memorable for multiple reasons.
Chapman was senior captain and played 19 games at that standard, only to miss selection for the grand final.
He wound up kicking three goals in Undera’s reserves grand final triumph, before the club’s senior side repeated the feat.
Chapman also played in a winning then losing reserves grand final for Kyabram in 1998 and 1999.
‘‘I played with a lot of people I’d started with out there in the ones, so (playing in the reserves decider) was enjoyable,’’ he said.
‘‘A senior premiership would have been nice, but it would have been worse if I missed out altogether.
‘‘There’s a story every year about someone missing out or being shafted or something and that year it was just me.
‘‘It was probably the only chance I ever had of playing in a senior grand final, but you can’t just keep looking back and dwelling on things like that.’’
Lions coach Terry Mahoney said Chapman was a ‘‘colossus’’ at the club.
‘‘He’s a terrific gentleman in the way he contributes to the club by coming to functions and training sessions,’’ Mahoney said.
‘‘His on-field performances over the years have been terrific in both sides that were struggling and then had success.
‘‘He has beautiful, silky skills, never wastes a possession and is one of the smartest readers of the play I’ve ever had the pleasure to coach.’’
Chapman said those qualities were a must if he was to survive as a senior footballer, given his self-confessed lack of pace.
His coaching ambition took a backseat in recent times due to having young children — Ben, 4, and Sam, 2 — but he said a desire to remain involved in the sport would likely lead him back to it.
In the meantime, Chapman will aim at winning a third reserves premiership.
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