Two premier Stratford Eltham rugby players have played their 150th games this season.
Jared Coster and Daniel Bishop achieved the significant milestone playing multiple seasons for the CMK Stratford Eltham Premier Rugby Team — having stuck with the game out of passion and loyalty to the club.
Ra Mako, who coaches the team alongside Craig Fevre and John Whittington, says the achievement is significant.
"It is a massive achievement. They love the game — otherwise they wouldn't keep coming ... I just think that people who play that long are really good people and both of them are.
"They have real resiliency and when they get hurt they bounce back pretty smartly — they are pretty fit."
Jared, 36 — who lives in Bell Block with his wife Courtney and three children, Mason, Reeve and Edison — first started playing for the team in 2006 after his mates had joined the club. He has played the game since he was 5 and has a "massive passion" for the game.
Jared mostly plays in the loose forwards and says he has never been a game counter and never really considered he would make the milestone.
"It's awesome — it's a major privilege for me to be involved with the club."
He is keen to do another season but says retirement may not be too far off. Once he gives up he would like to get involved more with coaching and he is currently coaching under-6 for Bell Block and enjoys seeing his kids get out on the field.
"It's a great club to be involved with, it's really community orientated and there are some great people. It's just not like any other club I have been involved with. I love it."
Daniel, 32 — who lives at Te Popo with wife Erin and is father to Cassidy and Ayla — says he achieved the milestone while playing Southern last Saturday and will be awarded his blazer at the prizegiving later in the year. He plays prop and says playing 150 games is a massive achievement.
"It sort of sneaks up on you a bit. I am lucky to survive without any major injuries ... just to survive this long is pretty good."
Daniel is not sure if he will keep playing but will see how his body feels after this season. He loves the game for the great guys, teams and coaches he meets. Born and bred in Stratford, Daniel works as a sheep and beef farmer. He started playing when he was 5 and has been hooked on the game most of his life.
"I like team sports — interacting with other people and just the social side of it is quite good.
"It's a great game."