Former skipper hits 200

Cam Livori (VAFA Media)

Harper Sercombe

Being a one club player has always been the dream of PEGS premiership captain Cam Livori who is set to suit up for his 200th senior game on Saturday.

Livori has been a servant of the club for more than 15 years, working tirelessly recruiting key players to the club, driving standards, organising events and much more.

He was a key architect to the premiership successes of 2022, where he led the side to a division 1 flag in the Victorian Amateur Football Association.

The grand final was his last match as captain of the club, giving up the leadership to dedicate more time to his family life as he welcomed the birth of his second child earlier this year.

“I think the captaincy comes with a certain element of responsibility as well, a lot of it’s perceived responsibility and a lot of it’s actual responsibility,” he said before the milestone game.

“So giving up the captaincy meant that I would be able to prioritise family first, which was the main driver.

“Also I knew that I’d be able to pass it on to some good people coming through.”

The club has always relied on the football program of its affiliate school, Essendon Grammar, to help bolster its on field performances and drive its culture. During Livori’s time at the club, he has seen the Essendon District Football League grow dramatically which he said has taken would-be PEGS players.

“A lot of money has come into the EDFL, so we were losing a lot of our year 12 players to these clubs,” he said.

“It made the sell [of PEGS] a little bit harder, these young kids get sold a dream from these EDFL clubs.

“So for a long time there we lost that connection with the school because we were losing the battle to these clubs.

“But in the last few years we’ve definitely built the bridge between us and the school a lot better.”

As the 32-year old reflects on his 200 games for the club, he said since the beginning it has been all about creating a positive and fun environment for the players and supporters of the club.

“I’ve never heard anyone say a bad thing about our club. Maybe that’s having the rose coloured glasses on,” he said.

“We’re trying to have that positive environment where people are at the club because they want to be rather than getting paid to pay helps create a different culture.”

After missing the club’s last flag in 2017 due to a suspension from a semi-final, Livori is proud to have led the club back to glory. However, it is not what he is most proud of from his time as a PEGS player.

“People know our club as a good fun place to be and that we’re starting to become a football force,” he said.

“My proudest achievement is having a club that’s respected… the boys are good fellas, there’s a good standard of footy, they’ve got good young blokes, that’s what gives me the most satisfaction,”