Round 18 Syd Guildford Nominee: Eric Kuret

You would be very hard pressed to find a more consistent performer in the QAFL than this week’s final Syd Guildford nominee, Eric Kuret.

The Wilston Grange midfielder hasn’t missed a beat this year. He wins his own footy, and reads the play better than a kid reads a Mr. Men book.  

On the weekend, the Gorillas had to fight, scrap, and claw their way to a win over Palm Beach, that ensured them a double chance for this week.

“We battled away during the day, and put in a super effort in the last quarter to get the win and stitch up third spot, which was a great result,” Kuret said.

“I think we always had the belief that we could win. They certainly threw everything at us but we knew that we had the talent and the resolve to get up and hang on.”

Kuret has been named in the best a staggering 13 times out of 15 games for Wilston Grange this year. You’re not going to get much better than that.

A very modest, perhaps too modest Kuret, put that down to the people around him.

“Maybe it’s my old wise head, but honestly, there are a lot of good midfielders and great ruckman at the club, which make my life really easier,” he said.

“We have generally had first use of the ball through both ruckman this year, and we have also got some great midfielders which I’m playing alongside, like Steve Brittain, Dave Kettle and Albert Proud, which helps spread the load, so that’s been a factor.”

If you’ve seen a Wilston Grange game this year, Kuret is the bloke who slows the game down around him. He spins, he ducks, he weaves, he looks like he is about to run himself into trouble, before feeding the ball out wide without breaking a sweat. He is Pendlebury like.

“I think some of the poise comes naturally. It’s not something I particularly work on. I’m not sure if it is something that has carried on from my basketball days, where you hang onto the ball, but it’s definitely not something that I work on,” he said

“I think my role in there is to try and get my hands on the ball around clearances, and to bring other people into the game. That’s where I add value to the team, with some creative handballs and getting people into space who can probably use the ball a bit better than me.”

This is Kuret’s first year in the Queensland system, following a very distinguished career in Victoria, and a stint in New South Wales. It’s unusual to say that a 32-year-old could be the recruit of the year, but he would be hard to beat.

Wilston Grange landed a genuine star this year. He is already a favorite at Bendigo Bank Oval; but the love runs both ways.

“I went down to training and I was really impressed with the guys, and they made me feel welcome from day one. It’s a really good culture there, and there just seems to be a lot of guys who enjoy their footy and each other’s company. There was just a great vibe there, so I’m certainly happy I made that decision.

With the home and away season in the books, now the real stuff starts. Kuret admits that there probably won’t be too many people’s tip for the flag, but the self-belief is there.

“The world’s at our feet really. People probably aren’t expecting us to win, but we have given ourselves the best opportunity by finishing in the top three. We showed that we can match it with the top teams, like Labrador, who are the powerhouse of the competition,” Kuret said.

“There is a quite confidence amongst us, we are happy to go in being underdogs, but anything can happen.”

First on the agenda though, is the Magpies this Saturday.

“They are a great outfit, seem to have a great game plan in place, and have got a very strong midfield who use the ball well. We are certainly going to have our work cut out for us, and they will deservingly go in as favorites. We will back ourselves in though, and give it a real crack,” he said.

Kuret is not stranger to the big dance. His experience will be invaluable on the last Saturday in September if the Gorillas can make it that far.

Despite his previous successes, the hunger is still there.

“I won three at Greenvale and won one at Balranald, so I’ve been lucky, but I am getting towards the end of my career, so I would love another one. To do it after finishing third would be amazing,” he said.

The Gorillas play the Western Magpies at 2:00pm this Saturday at Leyshon Park, Yeronga. The winner will take on Labrador next week, and the loser will play the winner of Morningside vs. Broadbeach.


2015 Syd Guildford Nominees

  Players Name Club
Rd 1 Josh Baxter Labrador
Rd 2 Aden Rutledge Sandgate
Rd 3 Declan Bevan Wilston Grange
Rd 4 Thomas Thynne Palm Beach Currumbin
Rd 5 Todd Bryant Palm Beach Currumbin
Rd 6 Joshua Clarke Labrador
Rd 7 Benjamin Hancock Broadbeach
Rd 8 Todd Featherstone Labrador
Rd 9 Alastair Nash Morningside
Rd 10 Richard Wenham Western Magpies
Rd 11 Josh Fraser Labrador
Rd 12 Todd Carbone Mt Gravatt
Rd 13 Drew Mitchell Western Magpies
Rd 14 Darren Pfeiffer University of QLD
Rd 15 Callum Carseldine Western Magpies
Rd 16 Steven Brittain Wilston Grange
Rd 17 Adam Clarke Labrador
Rd 18 Eric Kuret Wilston Grange


*Please note, the winner of the Syd Guildford Award for 2015 will be announced at the Grogan Medal Night, on September 21.

By Andrew Wiles@andrewjwiles

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