It’s been a long time coming, but Kate Yensch will play her 100th game for Lavington against arch rivals Yarrawonga this weekend.
After being sidelined since mid-2015 with chronic fatigue syndrome, and spending several years in Melbourne, the Panthers’ defender is delighted to finally reach the milestone with her home club.
“I always knew I’d come back to it, but it’s been nice to be able to get back into it this season,” Yensch said.
“I definitely feel I’m tracking along a lot better than I was a couple of years ago.
“It’s been such a drawn out process after moving to Melbourne for seven or so years.
“I feel like I’ve been around Lavi forever, but it’s just taken me so long to get to this hundred.”
After relocating from Melbourne to Canberra, Yensch makes the trip down the highway play in the Ovens and Murray every weekend.
“I always knew I wanted to come back (to Lavington) and when we decided to move to Canberra, I was having second thoughts again,” she said.
“But then I thought, what’s three hours down the highway every week?
“It (the travel) hasn’t been too bad, I obviously share the driving with my partner and there’s always the incentive of getting to catch up with everyone and family back home.
“We make a weekend of it, so it’s worth the trip.
“I’m training up here with a team in Canberra, but it’s such a versatile group, so it’s quite easy to slot back in on game day because I’ve played with them all previously.”
Yensch has been a key part of a formidable defence alongside Sarah Meredith, Rhiannon Dolahenty, but there is plenty of depth in the squad.
“We’ve also had Alison (Meani) who has been able to slot back into goalkeeper when I’ve been away or Rhiannon was out with her arm,” Yensch said.
“There’s a couple of other new faces, but they’ve slotted right in and it’s a really good vibe amongst the club.”
Yensch will have the role of shutting down Abbey Jones or Pigeons’ coach Bridget Cassar – two opponents she rates very highly.
“Both individually and as a team, they’ve (Yarrawonga) just played together so long and are a really tough team to play against,” she added.
In the remaining games, Albury can stay in hunt for the top three if it beats Wangaratta Rovers at home.
Wangaratta will secure a finals berth if it beats Myrtleford.
North Albury will go a step closer to a top-three finish with a win against Wodonga, while little should separate Wodonga Raiders and Corowa-Rutherglen.