Koroit goal keeper Emily Batt to play 200th Hampden league game

MILESTONE MUM: Koroit's Emily Batt
will play her 200th Hampden league
match on Saturday.

MILESTONE MUM: Koroit's Emily Batt will play her 200th Hampden league match on Saturday.

FOR Koroit goal keeper Emily Batt, it’s business as usual.

The reliable defender is set to play her 200th senior Hampden game when the Saints host Cobden on Saturday, but she has her sights firmly set on the team focus.

“Coming to the end of the season, I’m probably just more concentrating on finals,” Batt said.

Finals time is something the 33-year-old is more than familiar with.

She has been part of an incredible six premiership-winning sides with the Saints, her first coming back in 2001 when she crossed to the club from Warrnambool.

Batt started her senior career with the Blues while still playing 17 and under netball, but when her mum Gaye was appointed coach of the Victoria Park-based club, she made the switch, playing alongside sister Stacey.

Her first appearance for the Saints was delayed, working her way back from a knee reconstruction after an injury when playing for the Blues in the 2000 17 and under grand final, but she snuck in enough appearances late in the season to qualify for finals.

Batt and the Saints went all the way again in 2003-04, 2007, 2012 and 2014, and were runners-up in 2009 and 2013.

The 2007 decider was a standout for the defender, who relished the chance to earn bragging rights in her family.

“I liked the ’07 grand final when we were underdogs and I beat my sister Jess (O’Connor), who played for Terang Mortlake,” Batt said.

“I played on her for half a game. I liked that one because of the sister rivalry.”

This year, Batt and O’Connor are on the same side for the first time since the 2004 flag, forming a formidable combination in defence.

“We play very similarly, so we suit each other’s game,” the goal keeper said. “Her height and her ability help – I think she’s one of the best players in the league.”

Batt also claimed a premiership during a two-year stint with District league team Merrivale, which she coached in 2010-11 before returning to the Saints.

She sat out in 2015 when she was pregnant with her daughter Ayla, now two years old, and shared coaching duties that season with current coach Kasey Owen.

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