Shepparton East captain Mark Frost brings up his 200th senior game with the Eagles on Saturday when his side takes on undefeated Tungamah in Picola District Football League south-east on Saturday.DAMEN FRANCIS June 19, 2014 3:15am
Shepparton East skipper Mark Frost will pull on the jumper for his 200th senior game with the Eagles on Saturday.
When Shepparton East went from the Bombers to the Eagles upon joining Picola District Football League in 2006, few were happier than Mark Frost.
Frost grew up in Echuca and played his junior footy at Echuca United, where his family has a long history.
His mother Deb is clearance secretary and a club life member, father Leigh is on the committee and his brother Craig co-captained the Murray Football League Eagles to their maiden premiership last year.
‘‘That was one of the harder things to leave the club when the family is so involved at Echuca United,’’ Frost said.
‘‘I moved to Shepp and Damian Trezise and Glenn James were my bosses and they said ‘just come out for a run’. There was no pressure and I did and I just loved the club since.
‘‘I’ve had a pretty successful career and I’ve been fortunate to be able to play in such a successful era at the club.’’
A two-time premiership captain, Frost plays his 200th senior game for the club against Tungamah on Saturday.
Eleven seasons at the Eagles have yielded four premierships — 2004, ’06, ’10, ’12 — from seven grand finals.
One of those was the drawn Central Goulburn Football League decider of 2004.
‘‘That was a strange experience,’’ Frost said.
‘‘After the game we didn’t know if it was time on or you come back a week later. We all stood around and weren’t sure what was going on.
‘‘You can’t celebrate and you have to keep yourself up and about still and come back the following week and have another go at it.
‘‘A week later we won by a goal in the last minute, that was just amazing.’’
In 2010, Frost captained a perfect season and in 2012 he put off a shoulder reconstruction to lead his team to premiership glory against Waaia.
Surgery at the end of that season forced him to miss the first three games of last year and make his only reserves appearance for the club on his return.
The 29-year-old is getting more daring in the twilight of his career.
A career backman, Frost has raised eyebrows with a goal in each of his past four games — as many as he has managed in the past three seasons combined.
Three first-quarter goals against Alexandra in 2005 was a decent return, but wasn’t enough for him to even see out the game in the forward line, so he has taken to sneaking forward when the opportunity presents itself.
‘‘Goals don’t come around very often, so when they do I celebrate them pretty hard. I don’t mind a celebration,’’ he said.
Frost is quiet by nature, but his leadership is without question, having captained the Eagles since 2008.
Among his toughest opponents were Yea champion Chris Leatham, one-time Katunga forward Nick Howden and current Tungamah goal machine Lee James.
The best he played with included Chris Burke and coaches Gerard Doyle, Hayden Best and Dwain Vidler.
Saturday’s opponent Tungamah is red-hot favourite for this year’s premiership, having not lost since round 12 last year — its only loss on the way to the flag.
Shepparton East was the team to knock off the Bears that day and Frost hoped the Eagles could repeat the feat for his milestone game.
Frost said this year’s Bears were among the best sides he had seen in his 11-season senior career, but anything was possible.
‘‘Everyone is beatable on the right day and we saw that back in 2004 when we played Rumbalara in the grand final,’’ he said.
‘‘They were unbeatable, but we got the job done when it needed to be done.’’
Today at 8.30pm on SBS television the Insight program casts its eye on Shepparton and asks the question: How do you beat the odds in a place where too many kids drop out of school, and not enough of them find jobs?
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