AFTER three years with Canberra, Captain Aaron Bruce will make his 50th Canberra Demons appearance tomorrow night against the NT Thunder in Darwin.
One of the most decorated players in the NEAFL, Bruce will become the first player to play 50 games for the club, an achievement he is extremely proud of.
“It’s a huge honour, obviously the club is only in its infancy, but it is now a special group of players, coaches, officials and volunteers who are pulling together to create something unique, said Bruce.”
This milestone is an achievement that will join an incredible list of honours for the 28-year-old who is the clubs all-time leading goalkicker and longest serving captain.
The versatile forward has built a steady career in the Nation’s Capital, having made his debut for Eastlake at the senior level at age 15. Prior to joining Canberra as a foundation player in 2016 he spent time on the Sydney Swans list before returning to Eastlake in the AFL Canberra and NEAFL competition, registering his 200th senior appearance for Eastlake/Canberra earlier this season.
At the end of the 2017 NEAFL Season, Jordan Harper handed over the sole-captaincy reigns to Bruce after Harper announced he would depart the club to join North Melbourne in the VFL.
Having shared the captaincy with Harper, the Eastlake junior is relishing his current role on and off the field with Canberra.
“Being the captain of the club is one of the biggest honours I have ever had during my football career and being able to help drive the standards we wish to uphold at our club is one of my main roles off the field.
On the field and at the stage of my career that I am at it is more about providing leadership and direction and occasionally getting an opportunity to kick a goal.”
It capped off a prominent year for Bruce, who finished as Canberra’s leading goal kicker for the second year and finished 7th in the clubs best and fairest count.
Whilst the former Sydney Swan is still in search of a maiden Canberra premiership his primary focus remains on the development of Canberra in the NEAFL competition.
“Primarily my focus is to make sure that we can have a continued period of high competitiveness in the competition and whatever success that may bring.”
As Bruce nears the end of his 13th senior season, this weekend’s milestone match allows the Canberra and wider football community to celebrate what has been an outstanding career to witness and one, that in the eyes of Bruce, isn’t over yet.
I hope I have a few more years in the body still, and it’s not something (retirement) I have probably considered too much, however, as long as the club is in a stronger position when I leave then when I arrived then I will be happy.
Very few players in the history of the NEAFL and AFL Canberra have been more respected than Aaron Bruce and a win over the NT Thunder, tomorrow night would be the perfect way to commemorate his historic achievement.