Young North Launceston talent Arion Richter-Salter had a special thankyou to make ahead of his 50th senior game this Saturday.
A loyal Bomber since arriving as a 15-year-old St Helens District High student near on five years ago, the premiership defender's grateful outlook on his blossoming career began close to home.
"I wouldn't have been able to play at North if Mum wasn't there to drive me up," he said.
"I travelled up from St Helens three or four times a week when I first started playing at North so if she hadn't done that I don't think I would have been able to stay it out at the club."
Recruited by club legend Tony 'Ossie' Young, Richter-Salter played a year in the Northern Bombers' development league side before being handed a senior debut in early 2016.
Since that time, the 20-year-old has become one of the Bombers' first-picked defenders, played a starring role in a grand final victory and, as of last week, become an Adam Sanders medallist.
Described the most improved player at the club by coach Taylor Whitford, Richter-Salter also enjoyed good relationships with Whitford's two flag-winning predecessors.
"Zane [Littlejohn] was my first coach and he did a lot for my development while he was there," Richter-Salter said.
"I got on really well with Tom [Couch] from the word go, so we lost a good coach in Zane but he was replaced with Tom who was another very experienced footballer.
"Tom gave me a lot of opportunities that he didn't have to - there were times where he played me in games where I probably hadn't performed the previous week and he'd still back me in so Tom did a lot for my football.
"Taylor took the role last year and I guess it shows how good a club we are that Taylor could step in from captain and secure that role really well.
"I felt like I took a big step in my football last year under Taylor, he's helped me take my game more from just a lock-down defender to trying to get the footy as well... now I've had another good pre-season at the club and hopefully my footy can go a bit further this year."
Regarded highly enough by his peers to be injected into the Bombers' leadership group at 19, the third-year exercise science student is hoping to step up as on-field leader this season.
Oozing appreciation for the time and effort his teammates and leaders have put into him, he hopes to pass on the favour in the coming years.
"I think I was in [the leadership group] last year more to be guided by blokes like Josh [Ponting] and Brad [Cox-Goodyer] - this year I'm trying to step more into a definite leader and do my part as a leader rather than watching the other boys and learning from them.
"This is probably my fourth year of senior footy so I feel like I'm ready for that step.
"I've done every pre-season at the club and I feel like with the work I've done I've put myself in a position where the boys probably see me as a leader now thanks to Taylor and Brad and blokes like that."
And can we expect more marks like the screamer from last weekend?
"I've normally got heavy legs that don't get up that high."
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