Parkdale stalwart reaches 300th game

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The VAFA congratulates Parkdale Vultures’ Mick Meyer on reaching 300 games this weekend. A club stalwart on and off the field, here’s what the club had to say:

It takes a lot for an AFL player to make it to 300 games. Even with AFL salaries, and the support of nutritionists, doctors, physiotherapists, and a professionally funded organisation, most players don’t get anywhere near the magical 300 mark. This is what it makes it so special when someone does get there – it’s a triumph of spirit, a testament to the person involved and to all those that got him (and soon, her) there.

When someone reaches 300 game in local, amateur football, it is all the more miraculous. For this to happen, you have to factor in family and life commitments – friends, children, career. You don’t have the luxury of being flown to Zurich for surgery when injured – instead, you have to front up to work on a Monday, sporting a black eye, a broken finger, hobbling on tired legs and aching muscles. You have to pay subs, wash your own gear, scrub your own boots. It’s no surprise that many don’t make it this far.

Mick ‘Birdman’ Meyer is not one of those many. He is, in many ways, unique. A six foot six ruckman with elite running capacity, even at age 36. A devout clubman, being officially involved in the management of the Vultures for over 9 years, and unofficially involved prior to that. A friend to all, a mentor to many, and a welcoming and stable influence at a club which continues to change and grow.

Mick has sacrificed a lot for the Vultures on the field. He’s notorious for his immaculate preparation, and this has gone a long way to his status as a dual premiership player.  As years pass, his hamstrings have required more and more work to ensure that he is fit. He’s suffered dislocations, bruises, cuts, and every other injury that you can think of, which only make it stranger when he rocks up at his corporate job on Monday and greets clients.

The sacrifices don’t end on the football field.  Mick has been awarded life membership of the Parkdale Vultures for his ongoing involvement in the organisation and management of the club, having held roles in the committee for over nine years. He is the current secretary of the club, and sits on the Gerry Green Reserve Advisory Committee, which was integral in the redevelopment of the new rooms.

Mick is a single club player, with his career at Parkdale (and St Pats, before it merged with Parkdale) spanning 21 years. This season, Mick has played with teammates who weren’t born when he first pulled on his boots for the club.

Ever the overachiever, Mick and his beautiful partner Mandy recently brought twin boys into the world – Thomas and Benjamin. Both will be there on Saturday to cheer their Dad on, and will no doubt attract interest of their own (Parkdale Vultures ruck division of 2038?).

On Saturday Mick will become just the third person in club history to achieve this feat, along with Phil Emmett and Michael O’Brien. It’s fitting that this week is the week he does it – Mick’s first ever senior game was against Old Geelong at Como Park, and what better way to mark game 300 than in a season-defining clash with Old Geelong at home.

Parkdale family, please join us in congratulating Mick on this milestone. We’d love to see you decked out in red, blue and gold this Saturday at 11.40am, to cheer Mick and the boys on to victory!

Thank you Mick.