JAKE Evans will fulfil a childhood dream when he runs out with Cobden in Saturday’s Hampden league grand final against Warrnambool.
The 20-year-old has vivid recollections of Cobden’s most recent grand final appearance in 2007.
“I watched the 2007 grand final as a little fella,” the now 20-year-old said.
“I was playing markers up in the goal square at half-time and I thought ‘I would love to have a crack at that one day.’ That is where it started. I just wanted to play footy for Cobden.”
As a young boy Evans hadn’t shown a lot of interest in footy until then Cobden senior players Simon Morris and Brett Taylor arrived at his school for a clinic. Then he was hooked.
“I was two years too young to play under 14s,” he said.
So for two years he trained alongside the older kids, waiting his turn.
“I’ve never looked back.”
Evans won’t be looking back on Saturday either. His focus will be ahead in his role as a defender on a small Warrnambool forward. It is a role he is fast becoming renowned for. He is tough to get a kick against and loves to provide dash out of defence.
Evans said he and his backline teammate Bronte McCann, who had progressed through junior ranks together, had never experienced a grand final at any level. He said they were excited that was about to change.
Like many of Cobden’s Baby Bombers, he is not physically big but stresses at 20 he is in the middle spread of ages.
“There’s a lot younger than me,” he said.
“We don’t have a weights program, it is just the way it is. We have always been like that. I don’t know why we are so scrawny.”
But he said the Bombers were a good example of big things in small packages.
“Like Levi and Joe Dare said at the Maskell — we are not a team, we are a community. That’s exactly right. Coming to the last part of the season there was a different feel around the club.
“We got together and said we could have a crack or go down. Nothing has been said, everyone has pushed themselves. We have got this far and definitely there is a lot of heart at the club. It comes a lot from the supporters. They are always there.”
Evans, who made his senior debut in 2010, will be joined by his older brother Leigh in the Bombers side on Saturday.