Collingullie champion Brad Aiken to play his 400th game for the club

MILESTONE MAN: Colliingullie-Glenfield Park footballer Brad Aiken at work on Wednesday ahead of his 400th game for the Demons on Saturday. Picture: Les Smith
MILESTONE MAN: Colliingullie-Glenfield Park footballer Brad Aiken at work on Wednesday ahead of his 400th game for the Demons on Saturday. Picture: Les Smith

COLLINGULLIE-Glenfield Park champion Brad Aiken will become just the fourth player to play 400 games for the club when he runs out onto Crossroads Oval on Saturday.

Aiken is one of the most decorated players in AFL Riverina history and will add another accolade to his impressive resume.

Saturday’s big clash against third-placed Leeton-Whitton will be Aiken’s 400th game for the club that means so much to him.

Aiken, 39, will join Brownie White, Russell Meyers and John Bruckner as the only players to reach the 400 game milestone at Collingullie.

“I’m very proud of the achievement, it’s a real privilege to play 400 games for this club,” Aiken said.

“People in the Riverina know where Collingullie stand in the premiership side of things, from the outside that’s what you see, but so much hard work over the last 20 years has gone into our footy club to be where we are today.

“We were in a lot of trouble when I first got there, unbeknown to me, and a lot of good people have done a truckload of work. The players, we get the good part, the medals and the trophies but without those people behind the scenes, the club might not be around.”

Of Aiken’s 400 club games, 322 have been in first grade and he’s kicked 804 goals. He has won five league medals, five club best and fairests and eight senior premierships.

After retiring at the end of 2015, Aiken made a comeback this year and has not missed a beat, booting 27 goals from 10 games so far.

Aiken is happy he made the decision to return to the field.

“I am now, I was a bit wary and reluctant to start,” he said.

“People say you never lose it, and kicking the footy, that’s fine, it’s physically getting up one week to the next.

“I’ve certainly enjoyed it. I didn’t lose the passion for playing, it was my body at the time was just sore.”

As for the chances of a ninth premiership, Aiken is not getting his hopes up.

“We’re a chance, but everyone’s a chance,” he said.

“Winning all year counts for nothing if you play on the final day and get rolled.”

Brad Aiken’s playing career

CLUB STATS

Club overall – 399 games

First Grade games – 321 games

Club goals overall – 804 goals

Coach – from 2005 to 2007 – took team to Grand final each year

LEAGUE AWARDS

Farrer League

Gerald Clear Medal

1999, 2002, 2004, 2009 - winner

2008 – Runner-up

Riverina Football Netball League

Jim Quinn Medal

2014 - Winner

2013 – Runner-up goalkicking award​

LEAGUE REPRESENTIVE

1994 – U18’s

1998, 1999, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 – player

2012, 2013 – Assistant coach

CLUB BEST & FAIREST

1995 – Winner – U18’s

1998, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2011 – Winner – First Grade

2003, 2004, 2013 – Runner-up

PREMIERSHIPS

Riverina Football Netball League

1996 – U18’s v Wagga Tigers

2014,2015 – First Grade against MCUE

Farrer League

1999 (BOG), 2002 (BOG), 2003, 2008 (BOG), 2009 (BOG), 2010.