Laker’s double delight

By Meg Saultry

It didn’t take long for Nagambie clubman Michael ‘Manga’ Mensfeld to back up his 300th game for his beloved Lakers with number 301.

Back-to-back games in the reserves and seniors a fortnight ago saw Mensfeld celebrate twice on his milestone day, with both grades disposing of Longwood by 140 and 106 points respectively.

‘‘I’m definitely paying for it now,’’ Mensfeld said.

‘‘I’m a bit sore — but it was a good day.’’

The prolific forward also managed a few celebratory goals to add to his tally of 367, kicking five majors in the reserves win, before backing up with another two in the seniors’ match.

‘‘The boys fed me a few and palmed some they could have taken, which was nice,’’ Mensfeld said.

‘‘I’m spewing I missed a few though.’’

For Mensfeld the occasion of lining up for his 300th game didn’t really dawn on him until the day came.

‘‘I don’t think it’s that massive, but a few people were saying to me ‘you don’t often get there’,’’ Mensfeld said.

‘‘I feel proud and I’ve always felt welcome there.

‘‘Both the senior and reserves coaches did a bit of a talk up at Thursday night training when they were selecting the team.

‘‘And they all got around me on Saturday, which was a surprise and a shock.

The club also organised a special banner for Mensfeld to run through ahead of the big game.

‘‘The coach had said they couldn’t find any crepe paper and I thought I’d got away with that,’’ Mensfeld said.

And the weekend ultimately proved a big one for the milestone man, with the club ball on Saturday followed by Mensfeld’s 31st birthday on Monday.

In what has been an almost two decade football journey with Nagambie, Mensfeld’s time at the club has spanned 18 years, with the local first joining when he was just 13 years old.

‘‘I have a lot of mates here and I love the club,’’ Mensfeld said.

‘‘Living in town always helps, but I wouldn’t go anywhere else.’’

And Mensfeld’s time at the club hasn’t come without reward, with his most cherished football achievement being the Lakers’ drought breaking reserves Premiership in 2016.

‘‘I’d been playing when we’d been playing hopeless so to get that was awesome,’’ he said.

‘‘It was a huge year for the club, all seven teams made the final, it was a big day.

‘‘I never thought I’d get one, so I can happily retire now.’’

But that doesn’t mean Mensfeld’s time at Nagambie will come to an end any time soon, with the big man adamant he can play on for a few years to come.

‘‘I’ve never really been hit with injury, so I’ll play for as long as I can.’’