When Ben Hitchcock and Troy Snelson run out for Nathalia on Saturday in Murray Football League they will bring up their 100th senior game for the Purples.GEORGINA CAHILL July 24, 2014 3:05am
Ben Hitchcock and Troy Snelson are two decorated footballers.
Not only will the big-name Nathalia players line up against Numurkah in their 100th senior match for the club in Murray Football League on Saturday, they are also heavily decorated in tattoos.
While they may look tough off the field, and even tougher on, coach Jason Limbrick said they were at the heart and soul of the football club.
‘‘They’re both really good people and great clubmen,’’ Limbrick said.
‘‘There’s probably no-one who trains harder than Ben does.
‘‘Snels is a super-talented player and widely respected across country footy.’’
Hitchcock, 28, grew up at Nathalia and has been the Purples’ captain since 2012.
He played junior football at Nathalia and got his first senior call-up when he was playing in the thirds.
Throughout Hitchcock’s time with the Purples, there have been two distinct highlights.
‘‘It’s something I’m very proud of, to be captain,’’ Hitchcock said.
‘‘Winning a premiership in 2005 was a highlight as well. That’s the ultimate goal in football.’’
In 2006, Hitchcock moved to Queensland then Western Australia, but family drew him back to Nathalia in 2011.
Hitchcock painfully missed Nathalia’s 2012 premiership, suffering from osteitis pubis.
Hitchcock said his outlook on football had changed greatly since his junior days.
‘‘Football changes as you get older. When I was a junior and coming up into senior football, I thought it was a lot easier back then and success just happened,’’ he said.
‘‘Now towards the end of my career I know that’s not the case, it’s a lot of hard work and success doesn’t just happen.’’
For Snelson, 36, it all began playing under-18s for Girgarre.
He has lined up for Tongala — where he notched 100 games — as well as Rochester, Rushworth, back to Girgarre, Nathalia, Shepparton Swans and returned Nathalia.
Premierships have been plentiful for Snelson.
‘‘I’ve been pretty lucky, I won a flag playing juniors at Girgarre,’’ Snelson said.
He also won a Kyabram District Football League flag at Rushworth in 2004 and has had an incredibly successful tenure at Nathalia.
He collected premierships in 2006 to 2008, and in 2012.
In 2008, Snelson was awarded best-on-ground in the grand final and in 2010 he took out the McNamara Medal when playing for Girgarre in KDFL.
He has played plenty of interleague football and was awarded Murray Football League’s best interleague player in 2011.
Nathalia will face long-time rival Numurkah on Saturday and, for Snelson, getting the win meant everything.
‘‘You don’t want to lose on a milestone game,’’ Snelson said.
‘‘You don’t like to lose any game, but you don’t like to lose to (Numurkah).’’
VIDEO: A crowd watched on as a fire threatened three houses in Casey St, Tatura yesterday afternoon.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
Two people have been arrested and thousands of dollars in drugs and property found in a major raid in Corop early Monday.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
Members of a Cobram social group have encouraged women to become a part of community groups, committees and boards.
School fundraises for student with leukaemia.
ix industry and local government representatives, five water services committee members and two community members have been appointed to the new Connections Stakeholder Consultative Committee.
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