When Chris Stacey made his senior debut for Temora, the Northern Jets were barely a year old.
Sixteen years on, the triple premiership player will line up for his 250th first grade game in the blue-and-white at home against their biggest rivals.
The Jets are arguably the form team in the league right now but the Kangaroos are on a mission to get off the bottom after a tough first half of the season wracked by injuries and unavailability.
"I haven't thought about (the 250) too much. I was just hoping we'd play well. We didn't play that well early in the season but we seem to be stringing it together now," the unassuming Stacey said.
"I suppose it's a bit of an achievement but I've just enjoyed my time there."
Stacey remembers his first senior game well enough.
"It was at Collingullie, I think we got beaten by 100 points. I think Marc Geppert probably kicked 10 for the match," he said.
Temora's time would come though and Stacey was a key factor, playing in all three premierships, from the drought-breaker of 2012 through to the hat-trick-maker of 2014.
In 16 seasons, the ruckman has played with some Temora greats, with Scott Blackwell and Daniel Reid coming to mind as well as "Kody Kelman. We didn't actually win a flag with Kody Kelman but he's probably one of the best full-forwards I've seen."
As far as opponents go, former Collingullie gun Brad Aiken (now co-coach at The Rock-Yerong Creek) is up there with the best of them along with a former Temora star who had gone home to the Northern Jets by the time Stacey was playing.
"Rob Harper, yeah, Rob Harper is probably the best of them. He won a few games by himself when we played them," Stacey said.
Stacey, 34, has played 11 games this season. He was away for Temora's 139-point loss to the Jets, a thrashing that was the low point of their season, with most of their senior team missing.
In their last three games, though, the 'Roos have beaten Barellan and Coleambally to move level with them both on two wins, and challenged ladder leaders Marrar.
They want to do the same against the Jets.
"It doesn't matter where either of us are on the ladder, it's always been a good rivalry and it's always a tough game," Stacey said.
"Even if one of us is lower on the ladder. It's always a good game, always has been."
The Jets are likely to be without Mitch Haddrill but hope his ankle injury only needs a week's rest.
Stacey said the 'Roos are finding 'a nice bit of form' and praised the efforts of midfielder Rob Krause this season, as well as captain Rob Grant and forward Jack Cullen after both returned from injury while Will Reinhold "strengthened us up through the middle; he's all class."
Despite the tough season, Stacey said missing last year is a reminder of what it means to get back to the football club this year.
"You're always there to catch up with your mates and it's been good to see people again and get out and about and have a game of footy," he said.
The premierships are obvious highlights of a 250-game career, he said, but not as important as the lifelong mates he's made along the way.
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