`Veteran' Sheppard to clock 100 senior games

LAUNCESTON'S Corey Sheppard will reach his 100 senior game milestone for the club in tomorrow night's Good Friday clash against North Launceston.

The unassuming 23-year-old builder made his senior debut as an 18-year-old in the inaugural State League season of 2009, having graduated through the Launceston Football Club's junior ranks.

He received the Blues' best first-year player award that year and went on to be part of the club's 2011 premiership team.

Sheppard has continued to be a consistent on-field performer for Launceston over the past five seasons and this year was rewarded with promotion to the club's leadership group.

"I'm pretty happy about reaching the milestone - it's a good achievement I suppose," he said.

"My first game was this same round in 2009.

"I'm starting to feel a bit like a veteran with all these young guys running around now."

Sheppard said it was an honour to be included in the leadership group this season.

"I feel like a bit more of a leader - not that I'm a loud, out- there sort of person.

"I'm one of the deputy vice- captains and it was a bit unexpected but definitely an honour."

Sheppard said he continued to enjoy his football with the Blues especially since he has been joined at the club by his younger brothers Tom and Ryan.

"Tom is 20 and is playing seniors with me this year and Ryan is 17 and has just started and will play colts this year," he said.

Launceston coach Scott Stephens praised Sheppard's contribution to the club.

"Corey has been around a while since the start of the TSL and is a natural footballer with very good skills," he said.

"He is a good reader of the football and can play a number of roles for the team.

"He is versatile and can play in defence, or on a wing and can go up forward and kick goals."He is just a great person to have around the club and the fact that he has been elevated to the leadership group shows how highly he is thought of among his peers."

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