Champion reaches milestone

He clearly still adds to our playing group and receives so much respect from the player group.

Coach Steve Lubcke

Riverton Saddleworth Marrabel United Football Club five-time A grade premiership champion James Vandeleur has made the 300 club.

Action: James Vandeleur in action for his 300th game. Photo: Peter Argent #anotherargentimage

Action: James Vandeleur in action for his 300th game. Photo: Peter Argent #anotherargentimage

The 2014 NEFL Mail medallist, who is one of the small handful of sportsmen who have represented their state at country level in both football and cricket, Vandeleur played his 300th senior game with his foundation club in Saturday's round 10 North Eastern Football Association match against Blyth Snowtown at Riverton Oval.

The Hawks were tested early but came out as victors in Vandeleur’s milestones match, winning by a comfortable 32-point margin.

He was reluctantly chaired from the ground after the game, with a guard of honour given by both teams and received spirited applauses from the healthy crowd.  

Coach Steve Lubcke, in his first season in charge of the Hawks, has already noted Vandeleur’s natural skill and aptitude for the game, along with the respect he has generated from team-mates and opponents alike.

“He may be in his mid-thirties but he's playing like somebody ten years younger on game day,” Lubcke said.

“We need to nurse him through the week, but he can still run and jump and dodge as well as anyone.

“He clearly still adds to our playing group and receives so much respect from the player group.

“Once we got on top I was confident boys would go on to win this game for Jimmy.

“He's very modest quiet and almost embarrassed about this accolade.

“I don't think he really enjoyed the commotion around his 300th game.

“He just wanted to play the game, get a win and have a beer afterwards.”

Vandeleur is the youngest of four siblings, who all played in the 2001 flag together and also has a strong connection with the competition through his uncle Peter (a Mail medalist) and grandfather Maurice.

He started at senior level back in 2000, coming out of the reserves as a skinny teenager and played a B grade flag in his first year.

He spent the 2006 season travelling from the family farm down to Woodville Oval playing for the Eagles, which included a pair of SANFL league games.  

Also an outstanding cricketer, predominately as an aggressive fast bowler, Vandeleur collected a five-wicket haul in his SA Outbacks debut and also had a season with Port Adelaide in the SACA District A grade competition.