Collingwood's O'Bree ready for milestone - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Collingwood's O'Bree ready for milestone

By Adam Cooper 14/05/2008 03:46:06 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood midfielder Shane O'Bree has never regretted following his heart and leaving Brisbane even though many former teammates are now multiple premiership players.

O'Bree earned the ire of many at Brisbane after making it clear he wanted out of the club in 1999, two years after being taken by the Lions as a top-10 draft pick.

But the 29-year-old, who this week reaches the 200-game milestone against St Kilda, said he had never wondered what could have been had he not been homesick and sought a return to Victoria, even though the Lions won flags in 2001-03.

"From day one in Brisbane I was always homesick, so it was good to come back to Victoria and be close to my family and friends," he said.

"I enjoyed my football more as soon as I got back to Victoria because I didn't have any family or friends outside football (in Brisbane), so that was the main reason why I came back.

"There's no `what-if' or `I could have won a premiership'.

"I've always had a lot of Brisbane supporters ask me that, but (I have) no regrets at all.

"I enjoyed my time at Brisbane but enjoyed it more at Collingwood."

Given his own experiences, O'Bree considers himself a mentor for young players struggling with the pangs of homesickness.

However he has never been one to soak up much of the limelight at Collingwood, preferring to maintain a low-profile position even given his club's popularity.

"I've always had gun players around me in my Collingwood days, so they've taken a lot of the focus away from me," he said.

"That's a good thing, but I suppose along the way they wouldn't have minded me chipping in a little bit and copping a bit of the flak."

The round-eight clash against the Saints looms as a massive one for the Magpies, given another loss would put them outside the eight, with reigning premier Geelong to come the following week.

The patchy start was made even more frustrating as the Magpies had been forced to sit through a long wait since they were thumped by Hawthorn in round seven.

"If you've got to wait an extra week to play a game of football to redeem yourselves, it frustrates you a little bit," O'Bree said.

Ruckman Josh Fraser will train on Thursday in a bid to prove he has recovered fully from the knee injury he suffered in last Saturday night's Hall of Fame game.

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