SWAN Districts Football Club captain Tallan Ames, who has lived across from Bassendean Oval for his whole life, will celebrate his 250-game milestone against East Fremantle this weekend.
The 33-year-old defender arrived at the club in 2000 and played in the colts before making his senior debut in 2002.
His career highlights include the 2010 premiership, 2011 best and fairest, three State games and one national game.
Achieving the milestone as a one-club player has not sunk in yet for Ames.
“One thing that has really kept me in good stead is just being a local Bassendean boy and I have always been in Bassendean, which is great,” he said.
“It is going to be a fantastic achievement, of course, and it will be doing it with just one club, which is another achievement that might not be in the future with the way the whole landscape of WAFL football is changing.
“I do not think it will sink in until my retirement, which will be very, very close by as well.”
Ames, who works at the Australian Institute of Fitness in Perth, said he played in several memorable matches, including a comeback away win against South Fremantle in 2015 and a muddy encounter against East Perth last year.
“The game against East Perth that we had at Bassendean Oval last year will always be etched in my memory. It was the coldest, wettest, muddiest and dirtiest game that I have ever played in my 200-odd game career,” he said.
Ames said he was lucky to have consistently played full seasons across his career.
“I think there was a year in 2006 where I did severely injure a left knee, which still sort of gives me a bit of grief now 10 years on,” he said.
“My hamstring has been getting a little bit tighter as my career has gone on, so it is all about managing the body in the later years of my career to ensure I can get on the park every week.”
Ames said club legend Billy Walker’s 305-game record was not in his sights.
“Obviously, I am the closest to Billy Walker’s 305 games record and who knows how the rest of the year and next year will turn out, with the WAFL potentially changing to an 18-game season next year,” he said.
“I believe the 305-games record would more than likely stay intact but when you have a persuasive circle of friends, teammates and family, who knows where I will be next year, on or off the park?”
He said the team’s goal was to play finals after a successful start to the season.
“We won’t say that we have made it until the hammer drops but our focus is to definitely improve on our position last year and definitely use all the potential we have on the field,” he said.
“Personally, I believe that we will be making finals football and you have to either dream or aspire to bigger and better things.”