250 up for true Blue

Published on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Author : Nicholas Sacco

Peter McMahon will reach an impressive milestone this weekend when he plays his 250th senior game for Epping.

The lifelong Blues defender will reach the feat when his side hosts Watsonia at Epping Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of the milestone, McMahon said the thought of playing 250 games had never been a personal goal.

“I never thought about it (playing 250 games). I just loved playing footy with my mates,” McMahon told NFNL.org.au.

“It’s why I started playing and it’s why I have kept playing.”

McMahon made his debut back in 2002 when Epping was competing in Division 1.

He said the positive experience that came from his first game helped him settle into the senior side.

“My first game was a great highlight. We played Northcote Park and back then, Northcote Park were a strong side and had won a few flags,” he said.

“We beat them by two or three goals and that was a huge thing for me.

“On top of that my coach at the time, Saade Ghazi, got me to lead the boys off at the end of the game and that was a really good feeling for me to have early on in my career.”

The veteran Blue played a key role in Epping’s four-point Division 2 premiership victory over North Heidelberg in 2012.

McMahon reminisced about the relief he felt when the siren sounded on what was one of the most memorable grand finals played in recent years.

“The premiership was right up there as the highlight of my career,” he said.

“Leading into the game, we were feeling really good about it all considering we only lost one game for the year.

“We got off to a good start early in the game and we thought we had a chance.

“Then they came back and at half time they were leading and it kind of put us back a bit; but we just fought through and came out with a win.

“It was a really good feeling and it is amazing how much closer you get with all your teammates when you win a premiership.”

While he has experienced the highs of football during his 249-game career, McMahon also reflected on some of the struggles Epping has endured in recent years, which included suffering relegation from Division 1 to Division 3 in a two-year span.

Although consecutive bottom-place finishes were frustrating, McMahon felt there were positives to take out of it.

“It was a bit of a nightmare after getting relegated from Division 1 because of how many people were leaving the club and that was really hard for a bit,” he said.

“But watching younger players getting through and getting experience was the benefit out of that and it helped us get through it as a club.”

Throughout his 16-year career, McMahon had been influenced by many teammates and coaches who have helped him become the player he has.

But he lists his first coach, Saade Ghazi, as the biggest influence on his career. McMahon said Ghazi was vital in shaping him as a senior player.

“He understood every player in the team and he always told me where I was lacking and where I needed to improve,” McMahon said.

“If I got dropped he would tell me why and what I needed to work on to get back in.

“He helped me get through the early years of my career.”

Epping will look to celebrate McMahon’s achievement in style when it aims for its fourth win of the season in A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2.

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