VAFA Legends: One ounce of disappointment in an illustrious record-breaking career for Payze

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Shaun Payze, a name synonymous with Peninsula Old Boys, is an iconic figure in the world of the VAFA. With an astonishing 428 senior games, one reserves match, and one representative game under his belt, Payze’s name sits proudly atop the VAFA games record list with a total of 430 games, two ahead of previous games record holder, Peter Brabender from Old Paradians.

In the latest edition of VAFA Legends, Payze reflected on his remarkable career and the one disappointment that still lingers in his mind: not being able to secure a Premiership. Despite achieving almost everything possible in his playing career, the elusive flag remained out of reach.

Payze humbly acknowledged that while he possessed talent, there were players more naturally gifted than him. However, he firmly believed that hard work would be the key to his success. 

Throughout his career, Payze demonstrated an unwavering commitment to extracting the maximum potential from his abilities, and he feels satisfied with the results he achieved.

However, the absence of a Premiership victory continues to haunt Payze, particularly from a club perspective. Peninsula Old Boys, the team he dedicated his career to, never managed to clinch a senior flag during his tenure. This fact is something that still burns internally, even if the flame has lessened in recent times, as he remains connected to the club and its ambitions.

Six Grand Finals for Payze, six runner up medallions. “I’ve come to peace with the fact that I didn’t win one, but it definitely does burn from a club point of view because we never won a senior flag so that’s hanging over our heads to some degree” Payze said. 

While Payze has come to terms with his personal disappointment, the sense of responsibility he felt as a captain during the three of the six Grand Finals he played in gnaws at him. 

“It does eat away at me. It’s hard because I was captain, the thing that gets me is that I probably never played as well as in the Grand Finals as well as I should have or could have.”

“I put a lot of responsibility and pressure on myself to be the best player and perform, and never really did that in Grand Finals and so if you want to call yourself a good player, good players stand up in Grand Finals and I never really did that.” Payze continued. 

Nonetheless, Payze takes solace in the knowledge that he gave everything he had to his beloved club. He poured his heart and soul into his playing career, leaving no stone unturned in his pursuit of success. 

Despite falling short of the ultimate prize, Payze knows that he could not have done more and finds peace in that realization.

Among the many cherished memories from his illustrious career, one standout moment for Payze was sharing the field with his son, Bailey, during the latter’s senior debut in Round 1 of 2022. It was a poignant occasion, representing the passing of the torch from one generation to the next and the continuation of a proud family tradition in the sport they both love.

Shaun Payze’s name will forever be etched in the annals of the VAFA as a player who achieved remarkable longevity and gave his all for his club. 

While the absence of a Premiership may be his one unfulfilled dream, it does not diminish the legacy he has created. Payze’s dedication, work ethic, and resilience serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes, reminding them that success is not solely defined by silverware, but by the effort and passion invested in the pursuit of excellence.