Josh McGinnity and Anthony “Chooka” Ingham will glance over at the hospitality marquee on the small hill adjacent to the Percy Doyle change rooms and see many familiar faces.
A number of those enjoying the hospitality will reflect on their own football achievements and may even wish they could still run around. McGinnity and Ingham will fly the flag for them and once the task against West Coast Cowan has been completed, they will join their former teammates for a reflective ale.
The blokes in that marquee played with Ingham and McGinnity a decade ago, when the Beach won the first of seven consecutive premierships under the direction of coach Bill Duckworth – a record in Australian amateur football.
That McGinnity, a teenager when he played in his first flag in 2004, and Ingham are still kicking around is testimony, not just to their ability, but their durability and commitment. Ingham is now co-captain of the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team while McGinnity, after a fragmented pre-season, comes in for his first senior game of the year.
And it is a game with plenty at stake. After a sluggish start to the season, the Beach has racked up consecutive victories against Trinity Aquinas and University and needs to continue to build momentum.
It has been difficult to generate continuity with four or five changes being made out of necessity each week and that is again the case.
Joining McGinnity as key inclusions are his close mate Steve “Thumper” Bandy, Matt Power and Michael Taylor.
West Coast Cowan earned promotion back into the A-Grade competition with a grand final appearance in B-Grade last year and they have made an impressive return to the top level. Like the Beach they are sitting at three wins and three losses after six rounds and this contest looms as a nailbiter.
They have a good spread of talent across the ground, boast some useful key forwards and have started the year with confidence.
Round 7 fixtures
Saturday, May 31
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach v West Coast Cowan, Percy Doyle Oval, 2.30pm
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach v West Coast Cowan, Percy Doyle Oval, 12.35pm
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
North Beach v West Coast Cowan, Percy Doyle Oval, 10.45am
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
University v North Beach, McGillivray Oval, 2.30pm
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
University v North Beach, McGillivray Oval, 12.35pm
Brett Jones Colts
University v North Beach, McGillivray Oval, 10.45am
Express Bins E2-Grade
North Beach v Warnbro, Charles Riley Reserve, 2.30pm