BY NATHAN DOLE
SIX senior premierships is a feat not many footballers have achieved.
On Saturday it will be Golden Square captain Jack Geary aiming to join an elite club when he leads the Bulldogs against Sandhurst in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL senior grand final on Queen Elizabeth Oval.
It’s a seventh senior grand final for Geary who starred in his club’s golden era of five consecutive premierships from 2009 to ’13.
Team-mates in all of those triumphs were Mark Lloyd, Matt O’Toole and Dale Young.
Bulldogs’ coach Christian Carter was also with Geary in the grand final wins of ’09, ’11 and ’12, which added to the premiership he won 22 years ago.
A dual Nalder Medallist as best afield in a grand final is a testament to Geary’s ability to lift his game when the stakes go up.
A Victoria Country captain throughout a brilliant career, Geary was the Michelsen Medallist as the Bendigo FNL’s fairest and best in 2018.
Geary again features on that one day in September for the first time since the Dogs were beaten by Sandhurst in 2016.
“This group has been building toward this for some time,” Geary said after Thursday’s training session at Fur Life Oval in Wade Street.
“We had been thereabouts the past couple of years, but just not quite good enough.
“The belief among this team is excellent,” Geary said.
“We have improved and worked on a lot of areas leading into and then through the season.
“Forward entries and decision-making going into attack are a lot better.
“We needed to do that well against Sandhurst in the second semi, and have to again in a grand final.
“Sandhurst is such a great defensive team.
“The way we move the ball and giving our forwards the best chance on a lead or at ground level is really important.”
Whether it be Joel Brett, Braydon Vaz, Jack Stewart or any other player in the forward zone, Geary said there is a lot of confidence they can win or halve a one-on-one contest.
There will be many important duels, especially on-ball and midfield where Golden Square has the likes of Matt Compston, Ryan Hartley, Thomas Toma, Ricky Monti and Jack Hickman.
After such an amazing run of premiership success in the early years of his career, Geary is desperate for more.
The Bulldogs have not won a grand final since 2013.
“You never take a premiership for granted. It takes a lot of work by so many.
“At times you wonder if you will ever challenge for a grand final again.
“We have earned that and must make the most of it.”
Among Jack Geary’s greatest supporters are wife, Samantha, and children Quinn, two, and Luca, three months.
Although his role has changed markedly since a decade ago, Geary’s leadership and running power put him among the league’s elite.
Geary kicked off this season by marking his 200th senior game in round one.
He will aim to end it by holding another premiership medal.