WHEN Broken Hill native Tim Hunter first pulled on a Bathurst Bushrangers jersey 12 years ago, he had no idea that he would go on to play 100 games for the club.
Hunter notched up the milestone last Saturday for the AFL Central West club that he has become an integral part of.
He has kicked a mountain of goals as a Bushie - a highlight his haul of 15 majors against Cowra in 2014 - he's won league and club best and fairests plus he's enjoyed premiership success stories.
"I played a couple of seasons then had a couple of years out of the game until Matty Archer convinced me to play again in 2014. I had a good year that year then went overseas for 18 months and came back and then had a couple of injuries, it's been a long journey," Hunter, who first came to Bathurst for his university studies, said.
"It's nice to get there for a club you love, it was meant to be last year but I did the shoulder. It's been a long time coming but it was nice.
"What made it most special was that it was Pete and Steve's [Grundy] 200th, Michael Long's 100th and Jimmy Smith's 50th - it was a really nice day and that's what the club is all about, sharing. It was nice to be recognised along with a few guys I've played a lot of footy with now."
When it comes to sharing, Hunter is hoping that he and the Bushrangers tier one side he coaches alongside Archer can share another premiership success story this year.
They've started their campaign with wins over the Orange Tigers and Bathurst Giants, and this Saturday will host the Dubbo Demons at George Park 2.
"It should be a good, tough contest as it always is. We're happy with how we're going, but over the last few years especially Dubbo travel a lot better, they knocked us off last time we played here in Bathurst," Hunter said.
As Hunter indicated, the Demons sprung a 10-point upset when last playing the Bushrangers in Bathurst.
Though Hunter's side - the only currently undefeated tier one outfit - will be favourites again this Saturday and the Demons head into the contest after falling to Orange in Dubbo, the experienced Bushranger is taking nothing as a given.
He thinks this year's premiership battle will be a tough one.
"It sounded like they [Dubbo] had a really good end to the game, but Orange got the jump on them. We played Orange in round one and they were pretty competitive against us, we won by 26 points, but we scored a couple of goals late so it could've been a lot closer
"Obviously last weekend we know that was nowhere near the Giants' full strength too ... it's shaping up to be a really, really competitive season.
"Wins now to us are important, it's going to be one of those years I think where anyone can beat anyone on the day.
"You've just got to tick games off as you go, so to already have two wins and hopefully play well again this weekend, it would be a nice start for us."
The opening bounce in Saturday's match at George Park 2 will be at 2.15pm.
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