Marty Chambers reaches 350-game milestone with Albury United

OUTSTANDING: Albury United goalkeeper Marty Chambers will play 350th senior game against rivals Albury City on Sunday. Picture: KYLIE ESLER
OUTSTANDING: Albury United goalkeeper Marty Chambers will play 350th senior game against rivals Albury City on Sunday. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

Albury United stalwart Marty Chambers will make his 350th senior appearance against Albury City on Sunday.

But the goalkeeper’s decorated career could have been over less than 50 games in.

Chambers suffered a season-ending knee injury against Melrose prior to Easter in 2003 and considered hanging up the boots.

“Cade Webb and I did our knees in 2003 and from there we became pretty good mates,” Chambers said.

“We were both thinking we were going to pull the pin from soccer.

“It took both of us a while to walk again, his was a lot worse than mine.

“I did mine against Melrose just before Easter and he did his here (at Jelbart Park) the week after Easter, so they were two weeks apart.

“We had a pretty bad year, we finished sixth or seventh because Cade wasn’t playing and he was a star player.

“Scott (Kidd) caught up with us after the season and said ‘you shouldn’t retire at your age, you’ve got so much left in you.’

“So we decided to come back in pre-season 2004 and ended up winning it, which was pretty special.”

The 36-year-old started at the Greens in under 10s in 1992 and has been playing for 27 years, breaking into the senior lineup in 2002.

“We won the cup final in 2002 against Diamonds, which was one of our greatest victories because we weren’t household names,” he said.

“That started the dynasty.”

Chambers played a major role in the Greens’ consecutive cup final victories from 2004 to 2007, before tasting more success in 2012.

Incredibly, United took a 64-game winning streak into the 2008 cup semi-final, which was brought to an end by Boomers.

Chambers trialled for former National Soccer League club Carlton in the late 90s with the likes of Josh Kennedy, Adam Griffith, Shane Anderson, Mitch and Elliot Jones, but didn’t go further.

“With Josh being from Yackandandah, they didn’t really know where it was so they picked him up, while they thought it was too far away for all us Albury-Wodonga boys,” Chambers laughed.

“It was probably a bit too far for me anyway, it was a pretty good standard, but it was good to go down and trial for it at that stage.”

Chambers took up a role on the United committee in the early 2000s and was known as “the merchandise man”, driving the sales of club clothing.

He worked his way through the ranks, serving as vice-president for three years, before taking on the presidency in 2015 which he has held ever since.

Chambers was inducted into the Albury United Hall of Fame in 2010.