By Beth Newman
Hugh Campbell is not one to dwell on milestones; in fact he struggles to recall the details of his first game.
“Most people say you always remember your first game, but I probably wouldn’t even be able to tell you who we played,” he says.
But that surface lack of sentimentality defies the passion he has for Wilston Grange, where he has played all of his junior and senior footy and for whom he will notch up his 100th on Saturday.
“Since I’ve played there (Grange), there’s only been four other guys to play 100, so it is significant,” he said.
“I’m not really the kind of person to make a big deal of these; I just play football and get on with it.”
The 24 year-old does admit the looming ton has given him a chance to reflect on footy, but his greatest memories are the friendships he has made.
“The mateship is a big part of it, it’s some of the best friends you’ll ever make,” he said.
“If I wasn’t playing with good blokes I wouldn’t be playing in that team or at all.”
Campbell counts himself lucky to break into the side when he did, becoming a key part of the Gorillas’ ascent through the ranks over recent years.
“Every year, the competition’s had a step up and you prepare and train more,” he said.
“I don’t think I would’ve gotten a game at 17, if it was like that when I started.”
While Campbell was reluctant to put an emphasis on his milestone, Gorillas coach, Matt Trewhella, said his impact on the club could not be overstated.
“He is aware of how guys are feeling, he can pick up on things that other people might not see,” he said.
“He’s always at functions, he never misses a training session and he’s the kind of guy you can always count on.”
Trewhella said Campbell’s “goofy” style on the field mirrored his off-field persona.
“He has this different way of moving and he manages to get to contests or out of congestion and I’ve seen it on video and I don’t know how he does it sometimes,” he said.
“It’s just his overall attitude, he doesn’t get flustered.”
Hugh Campbell on:
His early coaches: Andrew Morrison was my first coach and he taught me a lot about my game. Then Marto (David Martin), he was the first one who gave me an opportunity and he was the first guy who believed in me and I felt like I could make it.
His current coach – Matt Trewhella
“I could’ve maybe fallen away from football, if he hadn’t come along. Just the way he goes about it is really good and he’s a good friend now too.”
Being a one-club player:
“It’s all I’ve known, I’ve only ever been at one club. There’s nothing I can relate, never being somewhere different, but it is special.”
His approach to footy:
If you’re not having fun, why would you be doing it? There’s a time to be serious, but I’m there to have a good time and that’s a part of it as well.
His best asset:
I’ve got a good pair of legs. Get me on a runway.