By Matt Fotia
Officer’s crucial clash with Doveton tomorrow will be for more than just a vital four points.
The Roos will be out to ensure that Ben Tivendale walks off the ground a winner, with the classy number 13 playing his 330th game for the club, breaking the clubs games record in the process.
The seven time best and fairest winner and 2002 premiership player has played just four reserve games in his time at Officer/ROC and will overtake Mick Moylan when he lines up tomorrow against the Doves.
Tivendale began playing football for the club due to his families involvement and debuted in the senior side in Round One 1999 after rising through the junior ranks at the club. He took no time in establishing himself at senior level and has not diminished in his performance since.
In 2014 Tivendale was awarded Officer/ROC Life Membership, an appropriate award for someone who epitomises the phrase ‘one club man’.
President Nick McLennan first became involved at Starling Road back in the mid 2000’s and still recalls the performances of the man known as ‘Tiv’.
“When I first joined the club back in 2005 I remember watching Tiv burn blokes with his speed and win games off his own boot – fast forward to 2019 and I’m still seeing the same things every Saturday.”
Tivendale’s dedication and loyalty has been all the more important in recent years as the Kangaroos have encountered some tough times.
“Our club has gone through a period where we haven’t had as much success as would have desired,”
“We’ve seen players come and go, but the one constant over this whole period has been Ben Tivendale – at times he has held the club up all by himself.”
Tivendale has earned the respect of all his peers via his incredible work ethic which has not waned over the years. His motivation and drive to be better still remains to this day.
“Tiv’s longevity has been outstanding and we look forward to watching him run out for many more seasons to come. I’m convinced the man doesn’t age,”
“He’s a special kind of person on and off the field. He rarely misses a training session and to this day is often the last one off the track.”
“Just last night he was spotted sneaking in some extra goal kicking whilst many of his younger teammates had already hit the showers.”
Last year signalled the beginning of an upturn in the Kangaroo’s fortunes and this season offers them a genuine chance at premiership success. McLennan is adamant that this would not be in the case if it weren’t for Tivendale’s commitment to the club.
“As a club we will be forever in debt to Ben for his service. Our club is a much stronger and a much better place because of him and we cannot thank him enough for all that he has done.”