After seven years and 149 games when it comes time to battling for the first touch Koroit ruckman Jeremy Hausler only has one opponent he calls his biggest rival.
In a competition with ruckmen such as Cobden’s three-time Maskell Medal winner Levi Dare and Warrnambool’s Dan Weymouth, Hausler, 27, will play his 150th match against South Warrnambool on Saturday and will line up against one of his favourite opponents – the Rooster’s 2017 Maskell Medal winner Manny Sandow.
“Manny is always a good challenge to play,” the four-time Saints’ premiership ruckman said.
“I think we have split the points over the years.
“He can get me one game and I’ll try to get him back the next game but he is definitely one of my biggest rivals.”
The former Hawkesdale-Macarthur junior and senior player, who has been a regular name in the Saints’ ruck since Chris McLaren gave him his first game in 2011, said the position for him was in the centre of the ground.
“I enjoy playing ruck a fair bit, because you get to go anywhere on the field and I like the battles with the other ruckman,” he said.
“There are some good ruckmen in the league and it gets you up and about when you know you are coming up against a good player.”
Hausler, a four-time Hampden interleague representative, said he did not have any superstitions and that he only had one pre-game routine.
“My ritual before a game is pretty simple. I just go for a coffee with the boys in the morning and then head off to the game,” the Warrnambool resident said.
“The upcoming game of footy is talked about a little bit but it’s mostly just a catch up with a couple of the lads to just to see how things are going with them.”
Hausler said the Saints’ four premierships and playing his first Hampden league game were some of his proudest moments in his eight-year career.