Commitment. A stalwart of the club, Michael ‘Moonie’ Ollington made Smithton Football Club history on Saturday reaching 400 games.
The first to do so in the club, Ollington ran out in front of a home crowd in the Reserves in round 16 of the North West Football League to tackle former club Penguin.
Joining the Smithton Saints’ ranks as a 17-year-old in 1993, Ollington spent his first seasons juggling Under 19 commitments as well as appearances in the Reserves.
He debuted in the Seniors in 1995 where he would come to be a reliable source in the back pocket.
Ollington spent one-and-a-half seasons with the Two Blues in the mid noughties where he earned a runner-up Best and Fairest title in the Seniors.
Venturing back to the western side of Sisters Hills, Ollington was honoured with a Life Membership to Smithton Football Club in 2010.
Struck by injury in 2015, he remained a loyal presence on the sidelines in his only season off the field.
Now as part of the Circular Head Giants, Ollington says he is dedicated to the club because of the camaraderie.
“I want to play at the highest standard that I can and that’s at Smithton,” he says.
“Playing with guys achieving milestones, it’s good to have them around the club because we need them – if you don’t have those people pushing for milestones you’re left with a young group, you need that experience.”
Maintaining the mentality ‘enjoy it while it lasts’ Ollington plans to do just that, although is looking forward to supporting son Grayson as he starts his career with Forest Stanley in the Circular Head Football Association Under 10 competition.
Ollington said playing against Penguin, his former club, added to Saturday’s milestone experience.
“Coming off the ground and seeing both Seniors and seconds standing there in line, I really appreciated that.”