MATTHEW Wines received a perfect gift on his 27th birthday — a place in Hampden’s interleague side.
Today he is looking for the ideal way to celebrate with a win against Ovens and Murray at Wangaratta.
Wines revealed he had no time to mark his birthday on Wednesday, having worked and then rushed to training. By the time the side was announced and the players addressed by former great Jim Bell, he didn’t get home until after 9pm. Then it was time for sleep and back to work again.
“It would be nice,” Wines said of the prospect of an upset win.
The North Warrnambool Eagles midfielder is the type of player coach Nick O’Sullivan loves. He has a strong body and he bores in hard in search of crucial clearances. He is also not afraid of hard work.
Wines’ selection is an example of perseverance.
“I’ve been in the squad three or four times,” he said.
“One of those years I was unavailable but the others I just missed out.
“I didn’t really think about it too much. I thought I might eventually get a chance.”
He follows in the footsteps of his father Ken, who was a Hampden representative a couple of times in the late 1980s.
“It’s always a good honour to play interleague and play with the best against the best.”
His younger brother Adam, a defender, was also in the training squad but was unlucky to miss out. Wines said he was looking forward to joining his Eagles teammate, ruckman Jordan Dillon, in the bottle green jumper.
“It will be good playing with him, he will be able to tap it to me,” he laughed.
Wines was unavailable for Hampden’s most recent clash against Ovens and Murray in 2012 when the Bottle Greens were defeated by eight goals.
“It will be a tough contest, you will be playing against the best players. You do that here each week so you know half what to expect.”