Another player from the Unley Mercedes Jets has reached 150 games, with Nick Stuart becoming the 45th player in the history of the club to reach the milestone.
Stuart started playing at the Jets in the juniors in 2004, and has been at the club ever since.
He said it was nice to reach 150 games, “it was a good feeling getting to the milestone, I’ve put a lot of time into the club for a number of years.” Stuart said.
It is not just Nick that has heavily contributed to Unley, but also the entire Stuart family.
When he started, his brother played there and his Dad was the junior president.
His Dad is now the president of the entire club and it’s his sixth year in the role.
Unley has had quite a lot of success in the last few years, with a premiership win in division four in 2012 the catalyst for the A grade team to move up a number of divisions until they reached division one this season.
Stuart has been a big part of that success, with his rebound off halfback and his clearance work on ball.
His leadership has also been important, as he has been vice captain of the team for a number of years.
While the on field success is an obvious highlight of Stuart’s throughout his career, he said he is proud of the way the club has evolved off the field too, a part of the club he is also actively involved in.
“We have been improving on the field, but also, and perhaps more importantly, we have been improving off it,” Stuart said.
“That is largely thanks to the committee that has been working hard on junior, the Mercedes old scholar and senior teams to make us a really professional club.”
“The volunteers have done a lot to improve our club in every facet, such as our facilities, so it is really important they are recognised for their support.”
Although there is a group of dedicated players at Unley that have stuck together for a long time to earn the success, it is also attributed to the hardworking and growing committee, and one other person in particular.
“Our coach, Troy Hall, has been with us for eight years. He has been a major part of us moving up the divisions and the effort he has put into us is testament to our success,” Stuart said.
“The impact he has had on the club can’t be underestimated.”
While the A grade team is still struggling a bit while they get used to division one, the Unley B, C and D grades are all having successful seasons so far.
That is just further evidence of the professionalism of the club and the positive direction they are continually going in.
No doubt with players like Stuart leading the team, the A grade will also return to its winning ways soon through hard work, and Unley will go well in all four divisions.
Considering the amount of effort people like Stuart and the committee members have put in for many years, Unley definitely deserve that success.
Written by Kirralee Thomas @kirralee_thomas