THROUGHOUT Heath Clugston’s two decades of playing football at Jeparit-Rainbow he has racked up a fair few games and memories.
He has played so many senior games that he is starting to lose count of the exact number.
“I’m not sure how many games I’ve played but it’s probably a bit over 300 games,” he said.
“I started playing senior footy in 1997 so I’ve been playing for about 20 years.”
Clugston considers himself to have been lucky throughout his career, as he has been able to play alongside three of his brothers – Ash and Simon and half-brother Tom.
“Tom is the youngest of the four of us, and we have probably played seniors together for the past five or six seasons,” he said.
“All of us have pretty much been involved with Jeparit-Rainbow for the duration of our playing days.
“It certainly is special. It’s probably one of the better achievements, playing with all the brothers. My mum Anne travels from Horsham pretty much every weekend to have a look at us.”
Clugston originally joined Rainbow as a junior, and played in the now defunct Mallee Football League when the club merged with Jeparit in 1996.
“I started off at Rainbow and played junior footy there and a few reserves games as a young fella,” he said. “The Mallee league was good and I guess it was a bit of a tougher league.
“I had a pretty good start in seniors with Jeparit-Rainbow. The first year I started playing seniors in 1997 I was very lucky to be involved with a great side that was lucky enough to win the senior premiership. That is a good memory. We have had a few lean years in between.”
Despite being one of the veterans of the side, Clugston still enjoys running around the football field with the younger guys.
“I still mix around with the younger fellas pretty well,” he said.
It certainly is special. It’s probably one of the better achievements, playing with all the brothers. My mum Anne travels from Horsham pretty much every weekend to have a look at us.Heath Clugston
“It’s a great club and it’s very much a family orientated club as well. I think one of my biggest enjoyments over the years has just been being involved with the club and seeing a lot of the young footballers develop through the juniors.
“Now we are playing with a fair few of them in the seniors. That’s pretty special in itself I think and it’s pretty rewarding.”
Clugston will miss this week’s game against Noradjuha-Quantong with a slight strain, and said he wouldn’t be looking too far into the future when it comes to his football career.
“I don’t know how much I have left in me, but it’s certainly a good feeling to have been playing this long,” he said.
“I think I’ll take it game by game at the minute. I’m not looking too far in the future, I’m just enjoying each game as it comes.”