The Mainey event for Rockbank

Rockbank's Tom Mainey.Picture Shawn Smits.

By Tara Murray

It was a tough day on the scoreboard for Rockbank on Saturday, but there was still plenty to celebrate as Tom Mainey pulled on the boots for game 350.

Mainey, who has played at the club since his junior days, became just the second Rams player to reach the milestone.

While no one would have blamed Mainey going elsewhere to have success, he has stayed loyal to the club.

“It’s getting a little bit harder to get up every year, but I can’t wait for round one,” he said before the game.

“I’ve played juniors and seniors at the club, I’ve been here since I was 10 or 11. A lot of it’s about loyalty to the volunteers at the club.

“Players come and go every year, that’s the way footy is now. It’s about the committee and the members who do the hard work. It’s about guys like Gav [Sporle] and Smithy [Mark Smith] … Volunteers are few and far between.”

Mainey had a little bit of success in his junior days, but it’s been a tough slog for him and the Rams at a senior level.

He said playing finals in 2014 had been one of the major highlights in his time at the club.

“We haven’t had the best of luck and always seemed to struggle,” he said.

Mainey joins rare company at Rockbank, with current teammate Saxon Woodroffe the only other player to reach the 350 game milestone.

“I didn’t play juniors with him, but I’ve played about 13 years of seniors with him,” Mainey said. “Hopefully I can stick around for a few more years and beat his record.”

Mainey said Rockbank was hoping to make some improvements this year.

“We will come up against sides able to spend a lot more than we can,” he said. “We’re more looking at effort and making sure we’re not blown away in games.”