Magical milestone for mighty McVeigh

By David Nagel Colin McVeigh will be remembered for a lot more than he wants to be when he one day hangs up the boots on a great career that reaches the magical figure of 200 games against Rye at Thomas Barclay Oval on Saturday. “Just a consistent player who wore the Hastings jumper with... View Article

By David Nagel

Colin McVeigh will be remembered for a lot more than he wants to be when he one day hangs up the boots on a great career that reaches the magical figure of 200 games against Rye at Thomas Barclay Oval on Saturday.

“Just a consistent player who wore the Hastings jumper with pride and gave everything he had for the football club…that’ll do me,” said McVeigh, who has given so much more to the Hastings Football Netball Club and the local game in general.

Starting as a junior at Hastings in 2002, the now 30-year-old debuted in the seniors in 2005 and has not looked back ever since.

A club best and fairest winner and twice runner-up in the league award, and a premiership player in 2016 – McVeigh was also the face of Hastings as he represented the club with distinction during five interleague campaigns.

He has been a star of the game since he burst onto the scene in early 2006.

“In one of my first games I kicked eight goals against Edi-Asp, who were pretty strong at the time, but I hit the post with a kick after the siren when a goal would have won us the game,” McVeigh said.

“That game, and two others, really stand out.”

In the premiership year of 2016, McVeigh was reported for striking in the elimination final against Red Hill. The club fought the charge and he was free to play against Somerville in the first semi-final a week later.

Although not suspended, the Blues’ stalwart felt that he had let his team down and went about rectifying the situation as he only he knew how.

He kicked five goals in a stunning performance, Hastings kicking 6.2 to 0.1 in the final term to keep their dream alive with a 34-point victory.

“I had never been reported in my life and that was a tough week,” McVeigh said.

“I just wanted to prove to the boys that I wouldn’t let them down so to come out and kick five, and play really well, that was a game that really does stand out above the others.”

And then there was the 2016 grand final and the chance to break a 21-year club drought under coach Brendan Dunne.

“We got pumped every week for years, then Glenn Michie came in and really turned the culture around and we reaped the rewards that year,” McVeigh said.

“We lost the 2011 grand final to Sorrento by a point, that was devastating, and you start to wonder whether you’ll ever get the chance to play in one again. When you’re younger you take everything for granted but we took nothing for granted that year.”

The Blues won by 27 points, McVeigh kicking three goals and Paul Rogasch earning best afield honours in a hard-earned victory from fourth place on the ladder.

“The whole season was unreal, we started really well but were riddled with injuries and only got healthy just before finals rolled around,” he said.

“The old saying goes that you need to be playing your best footy at the right time of year and we just all clicked at the same time.”

McVeigh said the club had played an integral part of his life, meeting some life-long friends along the way. He even met his wife Emma at the club, and they now have two children with Willow, 2, and Billy, three weeks old, sure to keep them on their toes.

“It really has been like a second home for me, I’ve made some close mates out of it and enjoyed every single step along the way,” he said.

“Sometimes it’s tough when your losing and can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, but stick fat and you get rewarded in the end.”

McVeigh wanted to thank his wife Emma and two other Hastings stalwarts in particular for a having a massive influence on his career.

“Gerry Morsman has been on this journey right from the start,” McVeigh said.

“He was my junior coach and came across as team manager when I started playing seniors and has been here ever since. He’s been a father-figure to me around the club and I can speak to him about anything.

“And ‘Aggers’ (Michael Agnello) played a huge part in my senior career as well. I played with him for 10 years before he retired in 2015. He was a hard-working player and a great captain who led from the front each week.”

Well done Colin McVeigh – a wonderful ambassador for the Hastings Football Netball Club.