YOU don't become part of the furniture at a football club by accident.
And it was no accident that Josh Spence's emergence as a player in the late 2000s coincided with a long run of success at Barnawartha – including a premiership.
Long one of the Tallangatta League's most talented players, Spence will celebrate his 200th game against Thurgoona on Saturday.
The fairytale 2013 premiership was high on Spence's list of accomplishments, but the career Tiger said it was the little things that stood out about his years with the club.
“The premiership, definitely, was a highlight,” he said.
“That whole season really.
“To win our last seven games in a row and scrape into finals and continue one was incredible.
“The years get away from you a bit – but it's the little things that add up.
“It's a family-oriented club, we have three kids we can take out there, luckily there's plenty of babysitters who keep an eye on them.”
Spence made his senior debut in 2007 after rising through the ranks of the club's junior teams.
His parents were stalwarts at the club and he had plenty of mates from school motivating him to stick around.
The on-field leaders Spence looked up to in his early days as a senior player, the likes of Danny Demarte and Peter Cook, have since concluded their playing careers, although Cook remains close as head coach.
Now Spence is finding his feet as the experienced player the next generation of Tigers are looking up to.
“It was exciting to come in as a young player,” he said.
“Now you're getting a bit older, you;re one of the senior players in the group.
“I used to have guys to look up to, now you're the one others look up to.
“It's good to see kids coming up and enjoying their footy.”
Not only has it been enjoyable for Spence to see the next generation coming through, in 2018 it has been necessary at times.
Despite holding down second place on the ladder, the Tigers have had to deal with injury problems of late.
Though injuries are always troubling, Spence said the young players who had come into the side had been performing well.
“Those guys are going to play finals, Connor Wiffen has been good, Jack Low should hold his spot,” he said.
Our last two games will be a good test, this week will be a good measure for both teams.”
Elsewhere Beechworth face Kiewa-Sandy Creek, Chiltern host Rutherglen, Tallangatta tackle Mitta, Wahgunyah face Wodonga Saints and Yackandandah hosts Dederang-Mt Beauty.