Wagga Tigers veteran Andrew Priest admits he feels slightly ‘embarrassed’ about breaking the club’s games record on Saturday.
Priest will eclipse Gerald Pieper’s record of 422 games when he runs out for his 423rd against Griffith at Exies Oval.
Priest returned to the field this season after three years off to help the club’s player shortage in reserve grade.
The 42-year-old key forward has kicked 25 goals from 13 appearances and will break new ground for the club on Saturday.
“It’s just another game,” Priest said.
“When you compare me to what Gerald did in his career I’m a bit embarrassed I suppose. Just when you look at what he done for local footy, his achievements and all the state and rep footy he played.”
A modest Priest still has a brilliant record to boast.
One of four ‘Knight of the Tiger’ recipients in the club’s history, Priest has enjoyed 10 premierships at Robertson Oval through his career.
He started at the club in under eights and has never left.
“It’s a fair bit of time spent down there and I’ve made a lot of great friends and that,” Priest said.
“The amount of close mates that are still involved at the club now, that’s why I’m still involved there and do what I do.”
Priest has enjoyed his comeback this season.
“It was only because we were short on numbers. I was happy to help out and do what I have to do,” he said.
“I hoping just to play every two or three weeks but it’s turned out to be every game. It’s good fun, I still enjoy it. There’s something about being involved in the club, I’ve still got a couple of mates playing who have been dragged back as well so it’s been good.”
While he hopes Tigers’ numbers improve next year so he’s not required, Priest is in no rush to hang up the boots.
“You talk to a lot of older players in the club, like my old man, Milton Breust, guys who have played a lot of footy and they’ve always said they wish they had of played longer than they did,” he said.
“That sticks in my mind and if I can still run around, contribute and help then all good and well.”
Priest thanked his parents, Doug and Jenny, for getting him involved at Tigers.
With a young family of his own now, he hopes his involvement can help encourage his kids to stay involved at the club.
“My young kids are starting to grow up and for them to see me...getting out and about, being active, being involved in a club, is important,” he said.
“All my best memories are down at the clubrooms.”