Lexie Bennett will play his 200th First Grade game for Belconnen this weekend, joining an elite group of just five to do it before him.
What makes the achievement even more special is that Lexie’s father David, an AFL Canberra Hall of Famer, is one of the five.
Bennett joins his father, Peter Taylor, Brendan Read, Steven Mahar, and Paul Raadts in the Magpies’ 200 Club.
The Belconnen skipper won two premierships alongside the latter three names, and admits that joining them in such an illustrious club is a special achievement.
“All the people that have done it before are people that I’ve looked up to coming through the junior ranks, and I obviously wanted to be like them,” said the club’s 2011 Best and Fairest winner.
“Dad was playing for Belconnen in my early years. You hear people talk about what kind of a player he was, and you just hope that you can do something similar and be as successful.”
When asked who the biggest influences on his football career were, Lexie answered “Mum and Dad,” almost before I had even finished the question.
It is a measure of a family man that could not resist the temptation of returning to Canberra to play football with his brother James – another person he cited as a big influence – after a year-long hiatus in Perth.
“The family is a big part of the football club and [the club] has been a big part of my life. They’ve made this journey a lot easier than it could have been.”
Bennett’s family first philosophy has not gone unnoticed by those at Belconnen.
Now in an administrative role, Mahar says that Bennett has developed in to one of his favourite players to watch.
“He epitomises the Belconnen spirit. He’s always there for others, on and off the field. He’s a great leader.
When I was coaching, he was captain. The reason why he was captain was because he did whatever it took to win. He’s super competitive, led by example, and always just gave his all.”
It’s fantastic that he’s been able to make 200 games.”
In a matter of days, Bennett will have notched up his 200th First Grade appearance for Belconnen. So what’s next for the Magpies number 11?
“I’m a lot closer to the end [of my career] than I am to the start. I guess it depends what happens this year, and how my body goes first.”
When mention of another premiership win was made, Bennett acknowledged that it would be fantastic to win another one alongside his brother.
“Trying to win another premiership with him before I retire is something that I want to make sure that I do.”
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR AFL CANBERRA