Rutherglen will honour one of its great clubmen on Saturday when Duane Maloney plays his 200th game for the Cats.
Maloney has spent almost 20 years at the club, playing 106 senior games and the rest in the reserves while also serving the club in a number of off-field roles.
The 49-year-old coached the under-17s for four years and the reserves for five, and his leadership is ongoing with Maloney assisting reserves coach Gerard Midson this season.
Having served on Rutherglen's committee several times, Maloney organised last weekend's social function and will deservedly take centre stage when the Cats take on Beechworth at Barkly Park.
"Duane is massive for us," Rutherglen president Pat Beattie said.
"There's not much happening at our club that he doesn't have a finger in.
"He's given me outstanding support in my first year of presidency, he's a good sounding board and just a ripping bloke to have around the club.
"He does a lot of work for us so it's good to be able to celebrate him.
"He's one of the most popular people down at the club, if not the most popular."
Maloney moved away from Melbourne in 2001 and relocated from Wangaratta to Rutherglen two years later.
"I walked in off the street and everyone made me feel welcome, so I pulled on the boots and I haven't left," Maloney laughed.
"They can't get rid of me!
"For me, the club is the heart of the community.
"Everyone seems to know the club and knows what they do with the juniors.
"The involvement, for me, with the juniors is really important, to get them down there, to give them an identity, to give them somewhere to go, that's huge, that's one of the most important things for me.
"Community-wise, we just had a function there on the weekend and the sponsors jumped on board with some amazing prizes so it's good to have that community involvement down there as well, so everyone knows what's going on.
"They haven't had much going on this year with the transition to the new committee so it was one of the things I thought we could do to jump on board and get the players involved in a function and get some people down there who may not have had much to do in the last couple of years."
Maloney also umpires in under-12 football and Beattie was quick to put the longevity of his playing career into context.
"I went through the list the other day and we've got two guys in our senior group who have played 230-240 but that's counting junior games," Beattie explained.
"We've got lockers in our rooms and they've got the 200-game players on there.
"There might only be 10 guys' names on those lockers that have done 200 games so it's not a lot.
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"Duane is good fun, he likes to have a couple of beers after a game of footy and he's a real good bloke."
Maloney's wife, Nicole Balfour, coaches the Cats' under-11 netballers and their son Bryce runs the boundary in senior football.
Bryce also plays in the under-14s and his younger sister Audrey is coming through the junior netball ranks.
"I've always enjoyed playing here," Maloney said.
"It was exciting when we first went into the Tallangatta league and we made finals a couple of times.
"But the highlight for me was coaching the thirds.
"That was amazing.
"You see them come through, learning the ropes and whatever you can teach them along the way is a bonus.
"To see them come through and play in the seniors, that's huge.
"To have my own kids involved here with their footy and netball now is just sensational.
"I've retired four times already but to play 200 games means a lot to me.
"It's a special club and I just love it here."
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