Epitomising everything a sporting club wants from its members, Gungahlin Eagle Matt Power will play his 400th game this weekend.
Becoming the second Eagle to surpass the milestone, Power joins close friend Leigh Hancock in the 400 club when running out in third grade this Saturday.
Had it not been for injuries and COVID-plagued seasons the established veteran would have celebrated the milestone a lot sooner, but nevertheless, it is an achievement the 42-year-old holds dearly.
"I'm very proud and lucky enough to be able to still lace on the boots at my age," Power told The Canberra Times.
"I'm fortunate enough to have a very generous wife that still lets me go out and play, even with the four kids playing sports all around Canberra.
"If you ask other people around the club, they will probably tell you that I've retired five or six times over the last 10 years.
"Gungahlin Eagles is such an amazing club and the people there make it as special as it is, and that's why you have people coming back year after year."
As do many fathers when their children begin playing sport, Power has found himself join the coaching ranks. It's a factor that helps him continue to play each year.
"I think being around a lot of these young fellas has kept me a bit fresher and keeping me on my toes," he said
"But my kids' sport now comes first, and if I can sneak some games in here and there for my club, I'll try and find a way to get the boots back on."
No doubting Power's love for the game, the flyhalf would regularly play numerous games in the same day to ensure a grade wouldn't compete short of numbers.
Gungahlin general manager Trent Pollard describes Power as ''part of the fabric at Nichols [the Eagles' home ground]" and is left in awe, like many others, over his commitment to the sport.
"Aside from the fact he's been at the club for forever, a lot of the people around the club wouldn't know the club without Matty," Pollard said. "He's the ultimate stalwart.
"Matty Power has given his life to the game and to the club.
"That's the lifeblood of rugby, people like Matty."
JOHN I DENT CUP
Saturday: Whites v Vikings, Campese Field, 3.05pm; Eagles v Emus, Jamison Oval, 3.05pm; Royals v Owls, Philip Oval, 3.05pm.
Saturday: Whites v ViQueens, Campese Field 1.40pm, Eagles v Emus, Perce Douglas Memorial Playing Fields 12.15pm, Royals v Owls, Philip Oval, 1.40pm.
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