Mike’s Reflection On Joining 200 Club

It means a lot to me to reach 200 games for this fantastic club, it’s a strange kind of emotion but mainly it’s pride to have been able to take the field with a host of great blokes over the years and I’ve also made some lifelong friends from it. 

It was an honour to lead the team out on Saturday and the warm reception from both sets of fans made it all the better. Managing to reach this milestone with the club in the highest position it has ever been in made me reflect on how far I personally and the club has come! Just to think when i started this journey, the club was in a phase of transition between old players leaving and new young blood coming in. I can now see that happening again but the club is so much better for it. 

In terms of thanking people there are so many I could reel off but I must give a special mention to a few. Firstly, I would like to thank Ali Heard, as you know I’m only a few caps behind him, but he’s been there from the start and been a true leader throughout my career here and also keeps me on my toes! 

Secondly, I would like to thank an array of coaches and staff. Martin Webdale for his fantastic approach on redeveloping the forward pack during his time at the club. Cal Donohoe for the relentless floggings that somehow made me play every game of most seasons. Gary Pearce for his support on keeping the group together through tough times and his passion. 

And also a special mention to Tony Penn and Mike Umaga, over the last four months has breathed new life and different approaches that will see the club evolve give it longevity for many years to come. And last but certainly not least Chloe and Laura that have spent at least 4,000 hours and 600 meters of tape keeping me out there. Without them, I’d probably be in an all-body cast, haha. 

I also like to stretch a thank you to two off field members of the club. Paul & Liz, their passion to help the club over recent seasons and support home and away, really epitomises what it means to be part of this club. Also I’d like to thank Norman Angell, for all the years he has keep all the players informed on our milestones. I’d probably be claiming my 1000’s game if he hadn’t kept a record.

I always hoped I would reach 200 games. And in all honesty I’ll keep going until either my body can’t give any more or you lot on the side line start throwing rotten tomatoes at me when I throwing in at the lineout. Here’s to the next 50!

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