When a 16-year-old Travis Sell made his senior debut for a struggling Irrewarra-Beeac team in late 1997 he had no idea he would go on to make club history.
Sell, a three-time premiership player and life member, will become the first Bomber to notch up 300 senior games when the club takes on Birregurra tomorrow.
The incredible career that has spanned two decades remarkably includes just 14 reserves games, 10 of which came in 2016 after he “semi-retired”.
“I didn’t really think I’d make it this far, the last 100 games have taken me about eight years, originally I was going to pull the pin when I turned 30,” Sell said.
“After the 2015 season I thought I’d had enough and I semi-retired then, I was getting injury after injury, so I played a few games in the reserves in 2016 before going overseas,” he said.
“But a few family members said ‘you’re close enough to 300, you may as well get back’, and (senior coach) Jason Cartwright was keen to get the numbers back up so I came back last year.”
Sell joined the Bombers through their affiliation with his old youth club league team in the mid-’90s, even though “Brian Finn has always laid claim to getting me out there”.
He worked his way through the juniors before earning a senior call-up in ’97, playing under current Western Eagles coach Paul Price.
“I don’t remember too much about the game, I probably didn’t pick up too many possessions, but I was lucky enough to kick a goal with my first kick in senior footy,” Sell said.
“I had Leigh Garner screaming out at full forward but I ignored him,” he said.
“We were struggling back then, but we had a few handy players like Leigh, Tony Walker, Adam Stannard, Luke Vickers.”
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.