One Narrandera Eagle has clocked up a phenomenal record, tallying 250 first-grade games for the Eagles over a career spanning two decades.
Stuart Hutchins played his milestone game last weekend in the Eagles’ home game against Coolamon.
According to local sources, Hutchins is the first Eagles player to reach the 250-game mark since Gary Powell in the 1980s, although neither of them have managed to match Victor Hugo’s tally of 300 games for Narrandera.
“I’ve played all my football, including junior football, for the Eagles. I would have had my first junior game at about five,” Hutchins said.
“I played my first senior game in ’95, and I stayed with Narrandera until 2011. Then I played with the Northern Jets for a few years.”
Hutchins played 65 games for the Jets, bringing his final tally to over 300 first-grade games in his sporting career. Overall, Hutchins took a pragmatic approach to the game.
“We lost, by about five goals. The boys played really well, fought back, and we got to within about eight points of winning, which is probably the most we’ve had all year.
“It was probably just another game; I only had two to play this year to get to 250. I only came back to help with the numbers, and to help the young fellas. There’s probably only about four or five people who’ve done that for the club, played 250 games.”
Hutchins said that he doubts he’ll stick with playing first grade for much longer.
“Unfortunately, I’d love to keep playing, but the body doesn’t let you. You break down, you get sore all over. I’m 39 years old now, and playing footy for 20 plus years wears you out. There’s not many who play over 300 games for a reason.”
Still, Hutchins would like to continue to be involved in the club and to invest in its future.
“We’ve got some pretty talented kids in Narrandera. It’d be nice if we could get them all jobs so they could stay on, but I doubt that’ll happen.”