CHRIS ‘Lefty’ Wright has hardly missed a game for Heathmere in the last 23 years.
The enthusiastic clubman loves his footy, loves the club and is set to play his 450th game for the Meres tomorrow.
“It’s just sort of snuck up; I just come here and play footy,” he told the Portland Observer in the lead up to his special milestone.
Wright came to the club from Yambuk in 1989 in his late teens.
“I had some mates and that playing out here so I came out, and Yambuk folded then anyway; so I came out here and I’ve stayed ever since,” he said.
“I just enjoy it; if I didn’t enjoy it I’d probably walk away.”
Wright has enjoyed the social side of football, and the atmosphere at Heathmere.
“It’s been really good; it’s a good bunch of people to be with,” he said.
“You’re there and you play footy for two hours and then you have a beer afterwards … that’s the way it works, well I reckon it is anyway, and you keep yourself fit and active.”
Wright has a passion for assisting young footballers with their development, which he has done as a coach, and through Auskick clinics at Heathmere.
“We’ve got our own Auskick clinic out here; we started our own Auskick clinic so we get 30 odd kids a year come out,” he said.
“Just teaching the kids the basics of footy … it’s good; and you see them go through the juniors and all that.”
Wright has enjoyed tracking junior players’ progress, which has even included joining them in grand final sides in later years.
“I’ve actually been coaching junior footy; coaching kids and then I’ve gone on to play in a grand final with them as well,” he said.
“Then I’ve also coached them in a grand final, which was even better.
“Doing the Auskick and just watching the kids come through and then going on to play senior footy or going on to play other sports is really good.”
Wright started doing Vickick in the early 1990s and coached junior football from 1993 to 1997.
Read more in Friday’s edition of the Portland Observer.