Two stalwarts of Lithgow rugby league have called an end to their glittering Group 10 careers stretching back to the early 2000s.
Brothers Jono and Brendon Van Veen have been central to the Lithgow’s success during that time but have decided to hang up the boots.
Now aged 34 and 32 respectively, the Van Veens have had decorated country rugby league careers in their own right.
Older brother Jono was named Group 10 player of the year in 2005 and Brendon followed suit as the league’s best and fairest a few years later.
Jono took out the top point scorer and top try scorer awards on several occasions and Brendon also grabbed a few top try scorer gongs.
“I think for six or seven years straight we won top try scorer every year, pretty good for brothers,” Jono said.
Despite all their accomplishments on the footy field, the brothers will miss the camaraderie of the game the most.
“Just being with your mates and going into battle with them. Now that it’s over you don’t get it,” Jono said.
The brothers have also played their fair share of rep footy for Group 10 and Western.
Brendon recalled running over the top of former NRL star, and now SportsBet presenter Joel Caine, who was playing fullback for Group 11.
There were also plenty of memorable moments when the pair played for Workies.
Not least when Jono scored five tries in first game playing in the second row against the Cowra Magpies in 2012.