Luke Brookes hopes for 300th game Swansong

LUKE Brookes wants to finish on a high.

The Chiltern veteran, who plays his 300th game for the club at Chiltern on Saturday, conceded this year was all but certain to be his last.

But with the Swans still in finals contention, Brookes is only worried about doing what he can to help them figure in the business end of the season.

“That would be a good way to go out,” Brookes, 35, said.

“We’re still a chance.”

Those chances will hang in the balance in each and every one of the Swans’ remaining four games.

Last week’s thrilling one-point win over Barnawartha kept Chiltern in the hunt, but Saturday’s clash with Wahgunyah is even more important.

Every week is must-win.

But stranger things have happened.

And Brookes would know.

After being called up to return to the seniors in round 4, Brookes was only expecting it to be a one-week stint.

He’s still in the side.

“They were a bit light on earlier in the year, so I came up to give a hand,” Brookes explained.

“It was only meant to be for the week but it’s turned out to be longer than that.

“I went back and started playing twos a couple of years ago as I was starting to get a bit older.

“I’m not the fittest.

“I’d say this year will be it, to be honest.”

Brookes has forged an impressive country career with the Swans after moving to Chiltern with his family from Melbourne when he was 12.

He’s played in a thirds premiership, won the reserves league best and fairest and was captain of Chiltern’s seniors when it lost the 2006 grand final to league powerhouse Mitta United.

Brookes, who has played more than 200 of his 299 club games in the seniors, said he had loved every minute.

“There’s been some good times and tough times but I love the place,” he said.

“It (playing 300 games) is a good achievement.

“I guess it shows I’ve been there for a long time, which is something I’m proud of.

“Captaining the club for three years was definitely the highlight.”

And while it seems a long shot, Brookes and the Swans are optimistic there could be a bigger highlight to come.