A milestone appearance is the last thing Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes ruckman Andrew Dickins is thinking about heading into Saturday’s game against Turvey Park.
Dickins and club junior Isaac Damme will run out for their 100th game for the Goannas when they take on the Bulldogs at Maher Oval.
Dickins and his partner Kira are expecting their first child, that is due next Thursday, so his upcoming milestone has hardly earned a second thought this week.
“To be honest, it’s at the back of my mind,” Dickins said.
“I’m more worried about my wife being pregnant. She's due next Thursday but is ready to go.”
Dickins said he will be a late withdrawal if his child decides to pick Saturday for it’s arrival.
“The baby comes first every day of the week,” he said.
Dickins already has plans in place in case Kira goes into labour mid-game. But it’s not something that will dominate his thoughts once the ball has been bounced.
“Yes and no. I get white line fever so once I cross that line I don’t think about anything else,” he said.
“I’ll give my phone to someone in case. And if something happens and I get a tap on the shoulder, away I’ll go.”
Dickins has been restricted to just three of MCUE’s six games after injuring his knee in the opening round win over Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong.
The 25-year-old has quickly made up for lost time, producing two best-on-ground displays upon returning.
“You can’t not be happy with that,” he said.
“You always do your best but at the end of the day you play to win games of footy. That stuff is icing on the top but winning is most important.”
MCUE has done plenty of that to start the year. They have won five of their first six to sit in third position on the ladder.
The Goannas don’t possess the quality they had on last year’s list but Dickins likes the way they are going about it.
“I spent a bit of time in the coaches box and it was good to watch actually,” he said.
“You get a different view of the game from what I’ve seen for the last six years and it was good to watch.
“The kids we’ve got coming through are awesome, better kids than previous years. I’m more impressed this year than last year, and we won’t have the big recruits or Harry Collins. I don’t know what it is...I don’t know if it’s a mindset thing or not but we’re playing a really good brand of footy.”
MCUE will be boosted by the return of Brent Arho and Trent Cohalan on Saturday.
Neither have played since the opening round win over GGGM. Cohalan picked up a five-week suspension, while Arho sustained a wrist injury.
Turvey Park have lost three straight and went down to GGGM by 80 points last Sunday but Dickins said they won’t be taking them lightly.
“I think they’re going to bounce back massively from the weekend and I’m sure they will come out with all guns firing,” he said.
“If we’re not ready, they will jump us.
“We saw last week with Narrandera, they’re a lot better side than the ladder suggests.
“It’s a very even competition and anyone can get the jump on you on any given day. If you don’t turn up ready to play, you’ll be in trouble.”
Damme said the 100-game milestone was something he is proud of.
“Especially to do it at the one club,” he said.