Round 2 2021 – Preview
It’s hard to fathom but early on in his career Marty Bahr struggled to get a game for Osborne.
A talented junior, Bahr won the league medal in the fourths in 2003.
But he openly admits he found the going tough to break into the side under coach Graham Hart.
“When I first came out of the thirds, I would crack it for a couple of senior games then get dropped to the reserves,” Bahr said.
“I sort of struggled a bit for consistency but kept working on my deficiencies and was able to turn things around.”
Fast forward a decade and Bahr is one of the first picked for the Tigers each week.
Bahr, 31, is set to celebrate his 200 match milestone on the weekend which will coincide with the Tigers unfurling their 2019 flag when they host Rand-Walbundrie-Walla.
The skillful midfielder’s career is littered with highlights.
Bahr is a triple best and fairest winner with his junior club and a Des Kennedy medallist in 2019.
He also captained the Tigers for four seasons alongside the Hume interleague side.
It’s no surprise that he is also a four-time premiership player with his beloved Tigers.
Bahr is also the designated bus driver each week that drives the players from Wagga to training.
Surprisingly, Bahr rates the Tigers’ most recent flag triumph as the highlight of his career so far.
“I really rate the 2019 flag,” he said.
“We were the underdogs heading in and to cause an upset took a special effort.
“To be honest, I feel lucky to have played one game for Osborne so to think I will be running out for my 200th on Saturday is something that I will cherish.
“I’m very proud of the achievement.
“I feel fortunate to have played alongside some Osborne greats including Hayden and Matt Gleeson, Anthony Armstrong and all the Gooden brothers.
“I feel extremely privileged to play 200 matches for such an outstanding club.
“Having to work for my spot in the early years makes me appreciate this achievement even more and I certainly don’t take any game for granted.”
Bahr said he was fortunate enough to have several role models that he admired early on in his career.
“I used to look up to blokes like Darren Howard and Hayden Gleeson,” he said.
“Osborne have also had some outstanding coaches that were good for my development.
“Gavin Graetz was great for me,” he said.
“Daniel McAlister was also massive and really helped me realise my full potential and seemed to be able to get the best out of me.
“I also rate Matt Rava highly and Graham Hart also showed a lot of faith in me.”
Bahr has played predominantly as a midfielder but said he is relishing his new role playing on a wing.
“The body is feeling good and playing out on a wing is not as demanding on the body,” he said.
“Hopefully it prolongs my career for a few more years.”
Holbrook president David Morton has vented his frustrations at being forced to transfer the club’s first home match of the season to Walla.
Similar to Culcairn last week, Holbrook will host Brock-Burrum at Walla on Saturday with its recently resurfaced oval unsafe to play on.
Morton said the unevenness of the surface and the covering of the cricket pitch were the major issues.
Adding to Morton’s frustration, he was assured by Greater Hume council earlier this month that the ground would be ready but was instead informed on Wednesday to find an alternative venue.
“On a scale out of one to ten, I would rate it a ten on how frustrated I am with the outcome,” Morton said.
“The frustrating part is we were given assurances by the council from the start up until now that the ground would be right.
“There aren’t any legitimate excuses why the ground isn’t up to scratch.
“Culcairn, Jindera and Henty are all in the same boat.
“To have all four grounds not ready, how can you not question the competence of the council?”
A seething Morton met with Greater Hume council general manager Steve Pinnuck on Wednesday to seek an explanation as to why the ground wasn’t ready for the Brookers’ home clash.
“Russell Parker and myself met with Steve Pinnuck and some of his staff to go through the issues,” he said.
“The surface is uneven and there are trenches where the grass has been sown.
“The covering of the cricket pitch is totally inadequate to the point of being dangerous.
“I told the council that what they had done up to date is not working and we need a new plan going forward.
“Our next home match is on May 3 so in the meantime the council is going to employ a consultant to come up with a plan in the next 48 hours.
“I’ve got my doubts it will even be ready by next month but I’m hoping that I’m wrong.”
Morton said he expected the switching of venues would have a financial impact on the club.
“It is unknown how much but I suspect the change in venue will result in less revenue,” he said.
“We will take a look at the figures and contemplate compensation if we feel we have been disadvantaged financially.”
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH CLINT BRUNNENMEYER
Q:How good is it to be back in Howlong colours and, before last weekend, when did you last play for the Spiders?
Q: Where have you played since?
A: I went to Mitta, Walla, Lavington, Tyntynderin Swan Hill, Western Australia and Labrador in Queensland.
Q: Was Lavington the highest level you played at?
A: It was. I was in and out the first year and then played in the seniors after that.
Q:Are you the oldest player in the Howlong side?
A: At 36, Matt McDonald has me covered by two years and Steve Fouracre is a couple of months older. I’m a spring chicken.
Q:Can Howlong improve on last weekend’s opening round loss against Rand-Walbundrie-Walla?
A: We definitely can. We are a very, very new group. I think we have the quality there but it might take a while to gel. The Walla boys settled into the game a bit quicker than we did last week.
ROUND 2 – SATURDAY, APRIL 17
CDHBU v Henty
Holbrook v Brock-Burrum
Howlong v Billabong Crows
Jindera v Lockhart
Osborne v Rand-Walbundrie-Walla
Murray Magpies v Culcairn
Holbrook v Brock Burrum
The Brookers have a big plus in their favour – speed. Ewan Mackinlay, Corey McCarthy, Coby Ross and Lachie Holmes will attempt to run their opponents ragged as they look to start the season with back-to-back wins. Brock-Burrum desperately needs Damian Cupido in their side to provide a focal point.
Prediction: Holbrook by 19 points