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Pies’ Anderson hits 150

Saturday, 31st May, 2014

Central’s Mick Anderson will be strapping on the boots for his 150th AFL game today at Alma Oval. PICTURE: Gavin Schmidt Central’s Mick Anderson will be strapping on the boots for his 150th AFL game today at Alma Oval. PICTURE: Gavin Schmidt

By Ethan James

At just 24 years of age, Mick Anderson is set to pass a significant milestone.

The Central midfielder will step out for his 150th senior match against South at Alma Oval today.

Since making his senior debut as a 15-year-old, Anderson has experienced the highs and lows of the Central footy club.

The ‘Pies won the flag during his first season in 2005, while he was also able to taste grand final success in ‘01, ‘06 and ‘10.

Unfortunately, times have been a bit tougher since then.

After premierships success four seasons ago, the Magpies have claimed three consecutive wooden spoons.

“We’ve had our good years and bad,” Anderson said.

“It’s a bit disappointing this year because we’ve had some close games, we just have to be more consistent.

“It does make you want to come out and play and to try and get back where we were.”

When asked about whether changing clubs was an option during the tougher periods, Anderson was quick to answer.

“No, never,” he said emphatically.

“I’ve got a good group of mates here.

“Guys like Justin Heath, Jarred Paull, Anthony Berg ... we’ve been together for a long time.

“JP passed the 150 mark earlier this year, so maybe we’re all starting to get on a bit.”

He was handed the captaincy at the beginning of the season.

“It doesn’t change too much in terms of my game, you just have to be a bit more of a voice around the club.”

He has also relished the change to reunite with coach Brett Morris, who was a mentor in junior footy.

“We’re trying to keep it low key though, it is just another game of footy really,” Anderson.

“I’d like to thank all the coaches and players at the club who have helped me out along the way.”

While some of the attention may be on Anderson, his Central teammates face an uphill battle to restrict the pace and strength of a South side that is starting to find its groove.

The ‘Pies toppled the ‘Roos in round one but that now feels like a distant memory.

South are without some key personnel, including Mitch Henderson on representative duty, but have unprecedented depth to call on.

Meanwhile, Central has made five changes with four players unavailable and Keta Balchin suspended.

IN: A. Bird, R. Elliott, J. Higgins, L. Lines
OUT: M. Henderson, S. O’Brien, T. Corey, B. Degoumois

IN:  K. Farcich, C. Jelbert, A. Mitchell,
M. Muscat, K. Ralph
OUT: P. Nash, L. Cox, A. Berg, C. Turner,
K. Balchin

Alma Oval - 2:30pm
Head-to-head: South 1 - Central 1
Last start: South 25.25 (175) def. Central 5.5 (35)

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