IT was great to run onto Optus Stadium on Saturday night for my first game at the new home of football.
Not just because it was so good to be back on a personal level, but because I could be there for the important milestones of two of my best mates.
It was also good to experience the wonderful atmosphere created by Eagles fans at the new stadium.
Obviously I had seen it from the stands for a couple of the earlier games, but it was at another level being out there.
But being a part of the 200-game milestone of Mark LeCras and the 150th for Nic Naitanui was really pleasing.
Whether you’re playing football in the country or the AFL you play because you enjoy it and generally it’s about playing with your mates. We’re a tight unit at West Coast and I’m pretty close to both Lecca and Nic.
We have played a lot of football together over the years and it’s pretty special to be a part of something so significant.
Lecca and I have played in the same vicinity for a lot of those games and it has been great fun.
Off-field he’s a bit of a prankster and can be a little annoying, but every club needs blokes like that who break up the business of the game and you can have a laugh. We joked during the week that even in his 200th game he was going to be upstaged by Nic!
There is no bigger identity in the game than Nic and with him qualifying for 150 games he was always going to get plenty of attention.
He earns life membership of the club as a result and it also gave us the chance for a bit of locker room banter and we were always going to make the most of it.
Seriously though, both have been great players for our club and it has been fantastic to play so much footy with them.
Lecca has been dynamite around the goals and he and I work pretty well together, while Nic’s presence in the team has been pivotal in our 3-1 start to the year.
Hopefully we can continue to build on this solid start and push towards a spot in the top eight.