Lake Bolac's Leo McMaster has put away the keyboard and retired from his weekly column, Centre Bounce, after three decades.
Mr McMaster began writing his column after the then leaders of the Mininera league and Ararat Advertiser approached him in the early 1980s.
Mr McMaster has prided himself on bringing an understanding of the local football world to readers.
He has decided to concentrate his efforts on his growing family and spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
David Martin, a former president of the Mininera league, took over writing the weekly column when Mr McMaster moved away for a period of time. Mr Martin died in 2017.
Outside of that period, Mr McMaster has controlled the column since it began.
"(David) was Roving Eyes and did a lot of work with the column," Mr McMaster said.
"We've had three or four names over the years. I started off with Over the Fence. Then there was Centre Bounce, Roving Eyes and then back to Centre Bounce.
"We tried to find interesting things supporters never knew about and give a different look into what was going on around the league."
Mr McMaster said during his years of sourcing information, he always tried to enlighten readers of the league's direction, as well as that of clubs.
"In more recent times, the Centre Bounce column spoke about the AFL giving money back to grassroots sports," he said.
"I know they read it. People in executive positions tell me they read it.
"It's a view put forward for people to consider and make readers think about an opinion."
The 82-year-old's allegiance with the Mininera league runs deep. More than four generations of his family have played for Lake Bolac.
In 1883, Lake Bolac played Streatham in the first football game ever in the region. Mr McMaster said his great grandfather and grandfather played in that game.
"I remember a story my grandfather told me about the annual general meeting back in 1930," he said.
"The Lake Bolac delegates were asked to leave the room and when they came back, they were told the league made a decision that Lake Bolac was far too good for the league.
"One of the delegates was Louis Park, who owned the saddlery shop. I was told he had bought all the footy boots for the players for the season and came home from that meeting crying.
"It was right smack bang when the Depression started."
Mr McMaster said his father spoke to someone within the Hamilton association and Lake Bolac went on to play in that competition.
"It was a good move because they won a few flags after that," he said.
Despite not playing football himself, Mr McMaster had the privilege of following his four brothers' football careers.
"My youngest brother - Hugh Patrick, or Boss, as he was known - probably still holds the record in the Mininera league with the most games, over 400 and all with Lake Bolac," he said.
"Another brother, Tony, was a damned good footballer and should have played more football.
"My brother, Bill, played in two premierships for Geelong and coached Geelong. He was the first full-time recruiting officer and played a hand in getting Gary Ablett to Geelong.
"And my other brother played in Golden Point in Ballarat."
Mr McMaster was on the executive committee when the Mininera league absorbed some of the clubs from the now defunct Ararat and District Football Association in 2000.
"A lot of leagues at that time were amalgamated and other leagues were widened at that time," he said.
"There could have been more changes, but it was hard for some people to have a vision and understand what the future could look like."
Mr McMaster holds many sporting accolades in the region, but his passion for development and growth of any sport is evident when he speaks about what clubs provide to small communities.
"Sport is recognised in the economic world as the greatest thing a country town can have," he said.
"If you haven't got it, people don't have a community.
"Like many small communities in western Victoria, if they didn't have a football or netball club - what have they got as a community?
"They are the things which people have to look at and remember."
McMaster said he admired small clubs such as Tatyoon, Mininera (now called SMW Rovers) and Woorndoo (now called Woorndoo-Mortlake).
"They are producing sport and keeping a community alive," he said.
"Where else can you go on a Saturday afternoon in those towns for entertainment most weeks?
"People fail to understand the power of sport within their community. Clubs provide a safe and positive environment for young people to come together and learn not only sporting skills but life skills."
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