Saturday, 18th April, 2015
By By Patrick Reincke
This afternoon at 12.45pm, Central Football Club’s Kieren Ralph will join an esteemed group of milestone players to have played 250 games in AFL Broken Hill.
Playing against North at The Jube this afternoon, Ralph will play his milestone game in the Central Reserves side.
“I’ve been playing for Central since I was four,” he said.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play in an A-grade premiership in 2001 and a couple of premierships in the Reserves (2006 and 2010).”
Additionally, alongside Dean Martin, Ralph coached the Central Women’s side to winning the first two women’s league premierships in 2012 and 2013.
After taking a year off last season, he has returned this season to coach again with teammate Jarred Paull.
Whilst coaching and playing for Central, Ralph still sits on the board just as he has done for the past 14 years.
Ralph’s family has been heavily involved with Central over the years with his father Mark being a former chairman for a couple of stints and currently sits as a board delegate.
“He’s had a fair bit to do with the club,” Ralph said.
His mother Jan has always been very active in the volunteering around the club and in the Kitchen.
“Those two would have to be my biggest off-field support. No matter where they are they always ring me up and wish me the best every Saturday.”
His Uncle Geoff has also been a premiership player for the Magpies.
“We love the black and white and we are a pretty orientated family for the footy club, I guess you could say.”
With his landmark game menacing, Ralph doesn’t seem fazed by the milestone of 250 games.
“I don’t tend to get nervous on milestone games or anything like that.
“It’s just another game of footy.
“I’ll just take it in my stride and see how I go.”
Coming against North who started their season in fine fashion against West last week, Ralph is optimistic about how his side will do.
“We’ve got a fairly young and enthusiastic team at the moment,” he said.
“They’ve put in a pretty hard pre-season so it’s a credit to them and hopefully we have enough legs to run over the Doggies.”
Having played alongside great players like Brett Morris, Justin Heath, Jarred Paull and Paul Christie, Ralph is pretty excited for today’s big game.
“I’m pretty stoked actually.
“When you play as a junior you don’t think you’ll end up playing so many games.”
Ralph now puts himself into a finite category of other great players in town to who have reached 250 games, and he shows no signs of slowing down.