Simon says, it’s time to go
ISIS captain-coach Simon Ricciardi knew this day was coming – only thing was he didn’t want to admit it.
The 31-year-old has hundreds of A-grade games to his name and Saturday’s match against Hervey Bay at Childers Showground will be the last at his home ground.
From the time Ricciardi turned 17 the talented rake has been causing problems for defenders with his quick wits and it has never been easy for his opposition to get around him.
This week Ricciardi is desperate to make amends for the weekend’s 36-26 loss to Brothers, but there is something else driving him as he prepares for the final hit-out in the red dirt of Childers.
Ricciardi said he enjoyed himself every time he stepped out on to the field regardless of the result – wins were always better of course – because of the support he received.
“I love the town and the club – I want to get a win in my last home game,” Ricciardi said.
“It’s been really good to play at Childers because the community and the crowd always gets right behind me.”
It would be difficult to add up all the games Ricciardi has played, both for Isis in 11 seasons and a few for Bundaberg Brothers, but there is one thing that’s easy to measure – Ricciardi’s desire to win another grand final.
Ricciardi won a premiership with Brothers in 2002 and then lost a decider in 2005 when he re-joined Isis.
He hopes this recent loss will spur his players on to recapture the form that had them in the running for the minor premiership.
The A-grade game kicks off at 6.30pm with reserve grade at 3.30pm.
Isis reserve grade need to win this week against Maryborough Brothers and the following week against Wests to play in the finals.
DEEP BREATHS: Isis skipper Simon Ricciardi takes a break before a scrum against Wests at Salter Oval.