Milestone for Muswellbrook stalwart

BY ALEX TIGANI

Muswellbrook Cat Ken Garland is 110% sure 2022 will be his final year of football.

The 46-year-old was chaired off for his 200th game on Saturday night after the Cats’ impressive 10.12 (72) to 5.5 (35) semi-final win against Newcastle City at the Pasterfield Sporting Complex.

“This means a lot,” Garland told The Hunter River Times.

The Cats must now defeat Gosford for a spot in this year’s grand final.

“I didn’t think I would ever get here through other roles I have played at the club like women’s coaching and I have hung the boots up plenty of times in the past.

“The goal was to finish the season with this milestone.”

Garland arrived at the club in 2004 and then featured in their last premiership the following year at the ripe old age of 29. Little did he realise it would actually be the start of a long career dating nearly two decades.

In 2016 he was awarded with the region’s prestigious JJ Arnold Volunteer of the Year award and went on to feature in another grand final the following season to coincide with his 150th game.

Though the Cats were unable to hold off The Entrance Bateau Bay that afternoon, they can book a spot in this year’s Shield grand final if successful against Gosford in this Saturday’s preliminary final.

“We are hitting our straps at the right end of the year and we have a lot of good players back on board,” Garland added.

“I think we have the talent to beat any side.”