150 Game Milestones – loyalty and more than a coincidence!

Following in the footsteps of 42 previous Westbrook players, Xander Vink and Tommy Vella of the Northern Lights U17 Div 1s joined the 150 game milestone club on Sunday 16th June playing against the Willoughby Mosman Swans at Gore Hill Oval.

What is even more extraordinary about this milestone is that both boys started their footy careers with Westbrook Auskick on the very same day in April 2008 as 4 year olds, started their competition game count in the same Westbrook Blue U9 team in 2011, and despite eventually ending up in different age groups (Xander and Tommy’s birth years are different, though only separated by 3 weeks) and with the variances of byes, washouts, extra games and injuries, they somehow managed to notch up their 150th game on exactly the same day!

In similar fashion, the boys also started and ended their junior cricket careers together in the same team at West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook Cricket Club.

Further parallels are that both their fathers are South Australian, played AFL in their youth, and are current coaches and executive committee members. Both families lived around the corner from each other until recently, and both have ‘V’ surnames. The only major difference is that Daryl Vella is a former Westbrook junior himself, thus having the added dimension of father & son playing over 100 games each for the club.

All this points to Xander & Tommy’s loyalty and dedication to the club, the love of the game and respect for their teammates being their key motivators. What is so pleasing for the club is the rapidly growing numbers of players reaching 100 game milestones and no doubt there will be a few more 150 gamers with their own interesting journeys to tell.