KOLORA-NOORAT has bid farewell to one of its most enduring champions.
Former Power captain Jonathon Gleeson has announced his retirement after nine seasons with the club.
Gleeson and triple premiership coach Ben Kenna both played their 150th game this year, the first two players to reach that milestone for Kolora-Noorat.
Gleeson, 30, said it was time to move onto the next phase of his life.
“I bought a dairy farm in Tarrone last December so that is a pretty big commitment,” Gleeson said.
“It got to the stage where I was driving out of the gate on a Saturday thinking about the jobs I had to do.
“I weighed up the pros and cons to retiring and there were more pros.
“If I went around again next year I might really enjoy it and maybe sneak in another flag, but I could also get injured and be off work and regret playing.”
Gleeson played juniors at Koroit and went on to play senior football for the Hampden league powerhouse as a teenager.
Gleeson had established himself in the Saints best team in 2009 before an untimely late season injury saw him miss out on the grand final winning team.
Gleeson landed a job working on Conheady’s dairy farm in Noorat and decided to play football nearby, joining the Power in 2010.
Kolora-Noorat was the reigning premier and the addition of Gleeson helped it go on to win the 2010-11 grand finals and become the first the first team since the great West End teams in the 1940’s and 50s to win more than two premierships in a row.
The Power almost made it four in succession, going down to Panmure by just four points in a thrilling 2012 season decider.
The following season the Power were knocked out in the preliminary final, but 2014 proved to be the most challenging yet, with a sixth placing keeping them out of the finals.
“There was that bit of a dip in 2014 so we had some work to do,” Gleeson said.
“It was good to be able to work our way back up and win another premiership in 2017.
“The club is in a strong position, winning the 14.5s and 17.5s premierships this year was great, not often you see clubs win both junior grades in the one year. It means there are a lot of good kids coming through.”
While Gleeson has enjoyed great team success, he also has plenty of individual awards in his kit bag, winning best and fairests at the Power in 2010 and 2015.
Kolora-Netball 2018 best-and-fairest winners:
Seniors, Jason Moloney.
Reserves, Simon Tolland.
Under 17.5s, Ned Payne.
Under 14.5s, Henry Kenna.
A grade, Kym Goonan.
A reserve, Debbie Worland.
B grade, Lexi Johnstone.
17 and under, Codi Willis.
15 and under, Jess Beasley.
13 and under, Isabelle Kenna.