Temora 200-gamer Damien Ponting is keeping his focus solely on Saturday's grand final against Marrar

COME TO PLAY: Temora veteran Damien Ponting in 2015, in one of his 200-plus first grade games for the Kangaroos.
COME TO PLAY: Temora veteran Damien Ponting in 2015, in one of his 200-plus first grade games for the Kangaroos.

Temora veteran Damien Ponting has held off on making a call on his playing future until after Saturday’s grand final against Marrar.

Ponting is about 10 games short of 250 for the club but says his sole focus right now is on just one game. 

And he has a simple philosophy for the big one.

“You've got to come to play grand finals,” Ponting said.

“You can't expect your good players just to stand up. Good players do stand up in tough games but you can't be that bloke doing nothing.

“It's do or die. You don't want to be the bloke that comes second.

The year before I came to this club, we lost a grand final by six points. And you don't want to be in that situation. It's not fun.”

Ponting is talking about his time in Tasmania, where he had already played more than 100 first grade games before moving to Temora. And that was 15 years ago. 

Earlier this season, he thought he might be on his last legs as he juggled work commitments with football.

“I had a patch throughout the year where I didn’t know what I was going to do… and a couple of weeks ago, I'd half made up my mind,” he said.

“But now I'm thinking, well, I'm still feeling good… I don't have to make a decision (right now).

“It's going to be a tough one. Whatever I do, it's going to be a bloody big decision and I suppose you've just got to be right to make those decisions don't you?”

Ponting said the luxury of having a settled side, with just the odd in and out in recent weeks, has been a huge help this year and particularly heading into a grand final.

But the most enjoyable aspect of the season for him has been reuniting with old premiership teammates.

“Luke Gerhard, he's come back a different person,” Ponting said.

Luke Gerhard has had a brilliant season for Temora

Luke Gerhard has had a brilliant season for Temora

“He went away to different clubs, he's learnt a bit more, and I think he's come back a real leader now.

“Blokes really look up to him. When (Mark) Kruger was coaching, (Luke) was just a player but now, blokes look up to him as a role model. He's got a good head on his shoulders. He obviously coaches cricket so he knows how to treat people.

“And I think it's just been great playing with blokes like Robbie Drummond. A bloke so passionate about his club. As soon as he puts that guernsey on or turns up to training he's going to give a hundred percent. Even if he's injured... you wouldn't even know.”