Simon Black set to play 250th AFL match - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Simon Black set to play 250th AFL match

By Jim Morton 29/07/2009 08:27:01 PM Comments (0)

Simon Black could never see a third season in the AFL, let alone 250 senior matches, three premierships, a Brownlow Medal, Norm Smith Medal, and three club best and fairests.

Brisbane's midfield marvel becomes the 11th player in the merged club's history to reach the 250 milestone on Saturday night when the Lions face Collingwood at the MCG.

"In my wildest dreams I never thought I'd play 250 games after I was first drafted here (in 1997)," the Perth export said on Wednesday.

"I thought I'd get shown the door after my first year or two and go back to Western Australia and play a bit of WAFL footy.

"So it is a bit surreal. It's been a fantastic journey and one I've been blessed to be drafted to the Brisbane Lions."

At 73kg wringing wet when he debuted in 1998 when Brisbane took the wooden-spoon, Black expected to be "snapped in half".

"I was one of those kids when I was growing up that AFL players were freaks who you saw on TV," he said.

"But after you get drafted you just realise they are normal people with some talent who work hard."

With a CV that also includes three second placings in the Brownlow Medal, Black is the freak who coach Michael Voss believes still flies under the radar.

"All his career he's been underrated," fellow `Fab Four' member Voss said.

Despite all his individual honours, including the 2002 Brownlow and 2003 Norm Smith for starring in Brisbane's third straight grand final triumph, merely being part of one of the game's greatest teams rings out as his career highlights.

The 30-year-old speaks of the incredibly strong bond Leigh Matthews' side possessed in their glory years of 2001-03.

"It was a real thrill to play in that group," he said. "That side back then, if you were six goals down in the third quarter you had a lot of faith we'd be right and be able to pull through and find a way to get up."

Midfield partner Luke Power, who arrived at the Gabba the same day as Black in late 1997, felt Black shared the mantle as Brisbane's spiritual leader with captain Jonathan Brown.

"He means a heap to the club," Power said. "Simon's a great role model and a great person.

"I'd do anything for the bloke and if you asked any of the 40 others on the list they would say the same thing."

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