THE Wimmera Football League grand final will have a different significance for Luke Carr as he runs on to play his 350th and final game.
While Carr has not played all of his 350 games in a Demons jumper, the club has always been special to him.
He kick-started his senior football career with the Demons as a 16-year-old in the 1997 season.
Stints playing for St Marys in the Geelong Football League and at Donald, as well as coaching at Hopetoun and Taylors Lake have not dampened his passion for the club. “I just love Horsham,” Carr said. “The people around the club are great. You get to know them and they really become family.”
He played in a drawn grand final with St Mary’s in 2003 and the team lost the subsequent replay a week later. The following year he returned to his home club with great success.
The club was in the midst of winning its 10 straight premierships, Carr played in the six from 2004 to 2009.
“The first one was obviously pretty significant but when we went undefeated in 2006 it was a very memorable year,” he said.
He said a seventh premiership would be the ultimate way to leave the game. “Hopefully I can go out on a high,” he said.
“Being able to play my last game in a premiership would be great. It would be awesome and just an amazing way to finish off.”
After injury setbacks in recent season Carr was originally content just to make up numbers in Horsham’s reserves side early in the season.
It was largely a desire to play alongside Deek Roberts in Horsham colours that he fought to win his spot in the seniors side.
“I’ve been trying for a few years to try and get him to come to Horsham,” Carr said.
“When I was playing in the reserves at the start of the year he provided a bit of an incentive to have a bit more of a go because we had spoken for a fair while about playing footy at Horsham together.”
In the grand final Carr will just be content to play his part and to be able to walk off the Dimboola Recreation Reserve oval with his head held high, and hopefully a medal around his neck.
“The old cliche is that it all starts in the middle with the onballers but I think John Wood and Rhona Conboy are really exciting to watch in the backline,” he said.
“Those key position type of players are going to have a big impact on the weekend, personally I just want to play the role given to me.”
But before Carr even runs onto the field, he will be a nervous parent watching from the sidelines as his eldest daughter Bianca plays in her first grand final.
He said he had not given her any tips on how to prepare for the 13 and under decider.
“She’s pretty cool, calm and collected so she should be fine,” Carr said.
It is that family connection within Horsham that Carr believes has underpinned the club’s continued strength.
“There are a lot of ex-players from 40 or 50 years ago and their kids are still running around or coming through,” he said. “Promoting that family environment really helps a lot. But there is also a lot of luck involved.”
Having already dabbled in coaching Carr said it might be something he considers in the future, but he would take at least next season off.