HORSHAM forward John Wood has become accustomed to success at the Horsham Demons.
He rose through the club’s junior ranks and jumped on board the end of Horsham’s 10 successive flags in 2010 and 2011.
Wood said the club breeds a culture of success.
“Once they starting winning a couple of those premierships the bulk of the core group wanted to stick around and see how long they could keep winning for, and they just kept going,” he said.
“I was lucky enough to play with guys like Terry Arnell and Stuart Farr who were part of that 10.
“I don’t know when the record was but once we broke that we just wanted to keep going.”
Wood missed the 2014 season through injury but was again part of a premiership-winning side last season.
Heading into this season, Wood said there was some uncertainty surrounding whether or not the team would be able to replicate last season’s glory.
“There are probably at least 10 players who are new from last season and a few who haven’t played much senior footy before,” he said.
“We have a pretty good junior program and it’s a pretty professional standard to be training in. We have gotten tighter and tighter as the season has gone on.
“We lost guys to Geelong and Ballarat and over the summer you had some doubts as to where we would finish this year, but it’s a credit to the coach, Deek Roberts, and the group we have. We put the hard work in early and have proven we can play some good footy.”
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Wood said as the season unfolded, belief quickly grew in the new crop of players. He expects a tough challenge come Saturday.
“At the start of the season if you said we would be in the grand final we definitely would have taken that, but during the season as we saw we could beat some quality sides we started to lift our expectations,” he said.
“I’ve matched up with Sam White the last two times and he is a quality player. Zac Robins was a house mate at mine back at university and I’ve matched up on him a couple of times.”
Wood is assistant coach and co-captain of the Demons with Rhona Conboy.
Wood, a teacher at Horsham College, has also had the chance to develop his coaching ability with the school’s football team.
“It’s been quite enjoyable. School football is a good opportunity to develop that coaching,” he said.
Wood said coaching a bunch of year 12 students brings with it plenty of banter.
“You always have a good laugh on trips with the boys,” he said. “There was an ongoing joke that Mitch Martin was the team because he is a quality player. The guys even started a bit of a Mitch Martin fan page.”
After the football season wraps up, Wood might also be making a couple of appearances for the Horsham Hornets in the basketball.
He featured in last season’s championship, but said he had a few niggling injuries to take care of before taking to the court.
“I played Hornets last summer and I’ve let Cam Bruce the coach know I will be keen to do it again,” he said. “I have had a few injury issues this season. I’ll take some time to get my body right after the grand final.”