Century eludes decorated country goalkicker

Otway Districts forward Tom Mullane-Grant, pictured fourth from the left, says a ton is a long shot in 2018, despite his solid form.

Otway Districts goalkicking machine Tom Mullane-Grant has dominated country football for the best part of 15 years without cracking 100 majors in a season.

But all that could change in 2018 as the Demons co-coach surges towards triple figures.

A seven-goal haul during the weekend’s win over Colac Imperials has lifted Mullane-Grant’s season tally to 61 after 12 games.

He and returning Lorne star Lewie Hollmer, who sits just five goals behind the Otway full-forward, are seemingly in a two-horse race for the CDFL’s goalkicking mantle this year.

Alvie young gun Dustin Walters sits third after recording 33 majors.

Mullane-Grant needs 39 goals from the six remaining matches, an average of 6.5 goals a game, to crack the magical ton.

The 33-year-old said he thought a century was out of his reach in 2018.

But with bags of nine goals, three of eight, and seven at the weekend, Mullane-Grant, who travels from Bright in the state’s north-east to play each week, has proven he is capable of racing towards the milestone if the cards fall his way.

“I haven’t really thought about it because I don’t think it’s in the equation,” he said.

“It’s always there and you have a look to see how many you need to get there, but I just love kicking goals, it’s a great feeling especially in the quarters that matter for the team.

“Against Imperials I managed to kick a few goals in that third quarter when the team needed it.”

Mullane-Grant, who is closing in on 200 goals after 47 games at Otway, boasts one of country football’s most decorated journeys in the modern era in front of the big sticks.

The strongly built forward, a product of Geelong district club Bannockburn, has delivered for Geelong West in the GFL, Rokewood in the Central Highlands league and Bellarine oufit Drysdale, before taking on a mentoring role at the Demons in 2016.

“I’ve kicked in the 80s six times and I had a look the other day and I’ve kicked over 50 goals every year since 2003, I think it’s about 1200-odd,” Mullane-Grant said.

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