Brad set to run out for his 200th game
By DARREN MONCRIEFF IT MAY have taken him the best part of three years to get a handle on the game but when he did, Ballina Bombers footballer Brad Scofield didn't look back.
Today, Scofield will become just the second Bomber to reach 200 games, after team-mate Craig Borley, and just the fourth in the Summerland Australian Football League (SAFL).
And the Ballina local's timing couldn't be better. Scofield will play his milestone match at home, with the Bombers today taking on the Nimbin Demons at Fripp Oval at 2pm.
And, as is tradition in Australian Football, the defending premiers will unveil their 2006 premiership flag in their first home game.
Scofield, 29, says he never dreamed he'd be a central figure in the Bombers' premierships.
"It's a big honour to reach the milestone," he said. "I never imagined I'd play 200 games so I'm looking forward to it."
Scofield is a key member of the Bombers' backline, holding down the key posts at full-back and centre half-back with aplomb. He's built like a true backman, too; big and broad and with enough agility and footy smarts to mind some of the game's leading forwards.
But that was not always the case.
"I was very dodgy when I started playing back in 1993," Scofield said.
"I had a rugby league and rugby union background and when I joined the Bombers I hadn't played sport for two or three years. It took a while to learn the rules but then I was right."
Of course, it's the flags that count among the highlights with Scofield rating his first premiership in 2002 the best, just eclipsing the Bombers' back-to-back flags of 2005-2006.
"The 2002 premiership was the most enjoyable," Scofield said. "It was my first premiership and as a club we had such a great year."
Scofield rates Richard Mills, father of current Brisbane Lion, Wayde, as his best coach.
"He was a very patient person," Scofield said. "Knowing that I hadn't played much before, he helped me out a lot, as did Jamie Gordon, who taught me what I had to do and where I had to be on the field and when. And others around the club like Keith Taylor and John Woods."
In the other game today, Casino Lions face a monumental task in containing the Byron Magpies at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino.
The Magpies will be smarting from their loss to the Bombers at home last weekend and will be looking to regain some form ahead of their match against the Lismore Swans next weekend. The Swans have the bye today.