600 games on, Trevor still prefers a beer to an ice bath

Herald Sun - - NEWS - PETER ROLFE @rolfep

A COUN­TRY footy leg­end who re­fuses to take ice baths and is the first to crack a beer af­ter train­ing says the se­cret to his longevity is not tak­ing the game too se­ri­ously.

At the ripe old age of 48, Avoca shearer Trevor Field will to­day tick off his 603rd game, ex­tend­ing a run of matches be­lieved to be the long­est on record.

He has won pre­mier­ships, best and fairests, played in­ter­league and along­side VFL greats, but said the only ice he had ex­pe­ri­enced in 36 years of foot­ball was on his can of beer.

De­spite his age, Field still lines up in the ruck against play­ers who were not even born in 1982, when he played his first game for the Avoca Bull­dogs as a 12-year-old. “I love the game,’’ he said. “I just like the com­pet­i­tive side of it and I love to come down and watch the up-and­com­ers on a Satur­day morn­ing in the juniors.’’

Af­ter start­ing in the un­der-16s, Field rucked for 376 se­nior games across 20 years and has, so far, played 153 in the re­serves, where he has played since turn­ing 40.

He has missed just four games that whole time. “I hurt my an­kle, I hurt my knee, I got re­ported once and I had to go to a wed­ding,’’ he said.

On the field, he has pretty much done it all — win­ning se­nior pre­mier­ships in 1993, ’96, ’97 and ’98, seven best and fairests and com­ing run­ner-up five times.

He won two league best and fairests, the re­serves best and fairest, was voted best player by op­po­si­tion sides and rep­re­sented the Lex­ing­ton Plains Foot­ball League seven times.

Back in the day, he played along­side Rich­mond 1980 premier­ship star Jim Jess. Now he lines up against play­ers as young as 15.

“I just go out there and play footy,’’ he said.

“I’m no dif­fer­ent to any other guy … I’m just a farmer and shearer and just come here to train and play footy.’’

Avoca pres­i­dent Bill Drum­mond said Field “laughs and shakes his head’’ when team­mates take an ice bath, but had earned the hon­our of hav­ing the club best and fairest named af­ter him.

“In this era I don’t think you will ever see any­thing like this achieve­ment again,’’ he said. “I’d be very sur­prised if any­one has played 620-odd games (which Field should close in on by the end of the sea­son).’’

Not that Field has any in­ten­tion of hang­ing up the boots just yet.

“I will be play­ing again next year,’’ he said. “I reckon I could nearly do 700.’’

Pic­tures: ANDY ROGERS

Shearer Trevor Field is play­ing his 603th game for Avoca to­day.

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