When Peter Ashcroft made his senior debut at 19 in 1996, he probably didn’t think he would still be playing at 45 years of age.
This Sunday, Peter will run out for his 400th senior club game for Tuggeranong Valley, having passed the all-time record of 396 last month.
This includes over 130 first-grade matches. Peter, it would seem, just keeps on going.
“I’ve looked after myself and I’ve been lucky with injuries. Luck is a big part of it,” says Peter.
And he has no plans to retire any time soon.
“I haven’t put a number on it. I have a real desire to keep on playing.”
This attitude is understandable when considering the pivotal role the club has had in his life.
He met his wife Clare through the club, and they have been on various committees – Clare on the Social Committee and Peter as the players’ representative on the Football Club Committee.
Four of his seven children also play with Tuggeranong Valley Australian Football Club.
“We are a footy family,” says Peter.
The high point in Peter’s career came in 2014 when he captained the-then Tuggeranong Hawks to the finals for the first time in many years.
He has also been the first-grade club coach, coached the under 17s, the Rising Stars and Auskick rookies.
He’s pretty much done it all.
And it’s fair to say, without the contribution of his entire family, the Tuggeranong Valley Australian Rules Football Club would be significantly poorer.
Peter’s milestone is one of three being celebrated at the club.
Matt Ghirardello became the ninth player in the club’s history to play 200 first-grade games.
He has also been an ACT senior representative, a member of the ACT Senior Team of the Year, and has been the leading goal kicker at Tuggeranong on many occasions throughout his career.
Marc Maloney has become just the eighth player in the club’s history to play 250 senior games, including 90 in first grade.
Marc has also coached junior sides in the Tuggeranong Valley and is currently the assistant coach of the Tuggeranong Valley Australian Rules Football Club men’s Rising Stars team.
He is also the current Reserves captain.
Recognition of these significant milestones demonstrates the importance of individuals to the fabric of Tuggeranong Valley Australian Rules Football Club, and of the club to individuals.