A bit of luck was all it took for Scott McEntee to find his way to Sunbury Tigers Rugby League Club.
Up in Sydney with his dad to watch Melbourne Storm play in its first NRL grand final, in 1999, they got talking to other Melbourne Storm fans while at their hotel.
“It was just by luck we had Melbourne Storm colours on,” McEntee said.
“Some guy said he was the president of Sunbury Rugby League club and that I should come down and they’ll have a look at me.
“It was the end of the season, obviously, but he stayed in touch and I came down to pre-season the start of the next year.”
The teenage McEntee fell in love with the game and on Saturday he became the first player to play 200 games for the Tigers when he ran out with the reserves side.
The achievement is the latest in a career that has spanned 16 years.
He was made a life member of the club in 2010, has won the club’s division 2 player of the year award, has been named club player of year and club person of the year and has won a coaches award.
“When I started, I was coming to the games with L plates on. I’ve seen a lot of guys come and go,” McEntee said.
“I think I got the [games] record at 151, so every game after that is always a new record, but 200 games is a big milestone.”
That milestone could quite easily have not happened.
McEntee took a year off last year after falling out of the love with the game.
He returned this year and has no plans to retire just yet.
Nicknamed Spaghetti, after his spaghetti-like arms and legs when he first joined the club, McEntee has seen the club go through high and low times.
He was part of a couple of premierships and has seen some great players come through. He said the club environment was a big factor in why he continues to play.
“When I was a bit younger, I put in more effort to be a first-grader,” he said. “As you get older, you’re just happy having a run.
“It doesn’t matter which grade as long as you’re having a run.
“I’ve seen a lot of young boys come through [from the past Melbourne Storm alignment] and you see them on the big screen and think, ‘I ran around with them’. It’s one big family.”
The Tigers weren’t able to celebrate McEntee’s milestone game with a win, with the reserves losing to Truganina Rabbitohs 40-24.
The seniors lost to Werribee Bears 24-16.