Matthew Dennis status as one of the greatest ever Northern Football League players is already assured, yet the Bundoora big man continues to write his name in the record books.
Last week, he became the second player to win three Frank Rosbrook Medals, bestowed on the competition’s best division 1 player.
Diamond Creek’s John Elliot won it three times in a row between 1957-1959
Dennis, who was the runaway winner last season and shared the award in 2012 with Bronik Davies, hit the front late in this year’s count.
It wasn’t until the final round that he sealed the victory, winning by four votes from Heidelberg captain Michael Brunelli.
Dennis said it was a massive honour to win the award not just once but three times.
“It’s pretty surreal and it’s a good feeling,” he said.
“I’m pretty proud to win it three times. You don’t play football for these rewards.”
The ruckman knew he’d had a strong year going into the count, but didn’t think another medal was coming his way.
He said the heart was pumping in the final few rounds of the count.
“On a personal level it was another good season, but with other players going well you never know,” he said.
“I had more better games in the back half of the season than I did in the first half of the year. There were only a few votes separating everyone.”
Dennis’ legacy is one that will endure at both league level and at Bundoora. Despite offers to go elsewhere, he has always stuck true to the Bulls.
“The club supports me and my family pretty well,” he said.
“It has definitely crossed my mind to go elsewhere, but I’ve been at the club my whole life and it’s hard to leave.
“More success and premierships make it harder to leave. That’s what you play football for.”
The awards night wasn’t the end of the big week for Dennis, with the Bulls tasting premiership glory on Saturday against Macleod.
Going into the game as underdogs, the Bulls snuck home 10.16 (76)-10.13 (73).
Best on ground was none other than Dennis.
It’s a third premiership for Dennis, who was also part of the 2011 and 2013 premiership teams.
In bad news for opposition sides, the 31-year-old has no plans to hang up the boots just yet.
“As long as I keep tracking along nicely, I’ll keep playing,” he said.