When Gregor Teague runs out for Katandra on Saturday he will join an elite family club by playing his 200th senior game for the Kats.MATTHEW GALEA May 29, 2014 3:15am
Gregor Teague continues a family tradition at Katandra when plays his 200th game for the Kats on Saturday.
The Teague name has become synonymous with Katandra Football Netball Club during the years.
Geoff, Kevin and Wes have all played more than 300 senior games each for the Kats, which is why football is all about family for Gregor Teague.
Gregor will become the latest Teague to pass the 200 senior games mark for Katandra and the Kats veteran of 14 years is delighted to continue a proud family tradition.
‘‘I grew up on a dairy farm out there and I played all my junior footy at the club,’’ Teague said.
‘‘It all stems back to family really. There’s a big family influence there — right from Mum and Dad to my brother David, my cousin, my uncle, my sisters who play netball there as well.
‘‘It’s the perfect opportunity to play with and catch up with all the family.’’
Teague made his senior debut for the club in 2000 against Waaia and — barring an eight-game stint at Tullamarine in 2005 — has played all his senior football at the club.
A host of injuries have slowed his progress to game 200, but in his 14 years as a senior player, Teague has experienced all the highs and lows football has to offer.
Back-to-back flags in 2003-04 are the obvious highs, while last season’s winless campaign was perhaps the lowest the club has sunk in his time.
‘‘Those two flags were the highlights of my career. That’s what you play for,’’ Teague said.
‘‘I got the opportunity to do it with a lot of guys I played juniors with, my cousin and a lot of other extended family which just made it all the more special.’’
Katandra’s success has always been built on its juniors, but with families leaving the area as the once thriving dairy operations that once covered the club’s surrounds have faded, so too has its fortunes on the pitch.
Teague is one of few members of the last great Katandra side still plying his trade on the park for the club, but the return of a number of the club’s most promising juniors has reinvigorated the side.
The Kats sit in seventh place with two wins from seven games, but are only four points off a finals spot.
‘‘It’s been great to see a lot of the local boys come back to the club and it’s a credit to them that they’ve seen the club is struggling and gotten back on board,’’ Teague said.
‘‘As players, just having the younger guys and seeing the belief that we’re a better side than we thought we were just makes the whole group much more excited.
‘‘We had young sides both years we won those flags .
Individual accolades have dodged Teague to this point, despite his success, but that suits him just fine.
‘‘I’ve always been a coach’s award player more than a best-and-fairest player,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a bit of a running joke because all my family has won them.
‘‘I always just try and do what I can for the team.’’
Today’s guest opinion column comes from former Shepparton resident and Notre Dame College alumni Joshua Nappa, who now studies economics and finance at RMIT in Melbourne. Joshua has written about the potential he sees in Shepparton reduce unemployment and help our retail sector.
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