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O’HARA READY FOR NEXT STEP

 

By ZAC MILBANK | Twitter @zacmilbank
There isn’t much left for Brayden O’Hara to achieve in football.
At just 25, the Central District star has already played in three league premierships and in Sunday’s Elimination Final at AAMI Stadium; he will chalk up his 100th match.
While playing for his beloved Bulldogs means everything to him, the consistent midfielder still dreams of crossing one more goal off his list.
‘’I would still love to play at the highest level obviously,’’ said O’Hara, who made his league debut in Round 14, 2008 against West Adelaide at Richmond.
‘’You always want to play at the highest level and it has always been my dream ever since I was a little boy playing in the backyard.
‘’But if it doesn’t eventuate, it doesn’t eventuate.’’
O’Hara has taken note of how well his former Central team-mate Lee Spurr has adapted to elite level, with his former housemate preparing to play in an AFL preliminary final for Fremantle within the next fortnight.
‘’He’s done really well,’’ O’Hara said of Spurr, who last played for the Bulldogs in the 2011 SANFL grand final.
‘’I suppose he has helped a lot of blokes around the country who are mature-age, to show they can do it after playing a long time in the SANFL.
‘’I lived with him for about three years so we keep in contact, we are pretty good mates.’’
On form alone this year, O’Hara – in the mix to win this year’s Magarey Medal – should be looked at closely by AFL clubs wanting a long-kicking midfielder ready for action.
The Bulldogs’ No.47 has lifted his game to another level in the absence of the Gowans twins, James and Chris, in season 2013.
‘’I had a pretty good pre-season this year as I worked pretty hard,’’ said O’Hara, who collected 41 disposals against Sturt on Sunday.
‘’Knowing those guys (Gowans twins) were leaving, I thought I had to step it up a little bit more like a few of the other guys aged around the 24 and 25 mark. If we wanted to make and impact and play in the finals we knew we had to do that.’’
But if the calling doesn’t come from an AFL club, O’Hara – 183cm and 80kg - still has much to look forward to, including the chase for another premiership with Central.
The carpenter says if the Dogs were to taste the ultimate success this year from fourth spot – after starting with a 0-4 win-loss record – it would rival the experience of playing in his first flag in 2008.
‘’The first one always means a fair bit to you,’’ said O’Hara, who moved from Meningie Football Club to Gawler Central Football Club as a 13-year-old.
‘’If something did come a long and we did end up coming back to win one after also losing 10 or 11 blokes who played league footy last year, that would be something special.’’

By ZAC MILBANK (SANFL)| Twitter @zacmilbank

There isn’t much left for Brayden O’Hara to achieve in football.

At just 25, the Central District star has already played in three league premierships and in Sunday’s Elimination Final at AAMI Stadium; he will chalk up his 100th match.

While playing for his beloved Bulldogs means everything to him, the consistent midfielder still dreams of crossing one more goal off his list.

‘’I would still love to play at the highest level obviously,’’ said O’Hara, who made his league debut in Round 14, 2008 against West Adelaide at Richmond.

‘’You always want to play at the highest level and it has always been my dream ever since I was a little boy playing in the backyard.

‘’But if it doesn’t eventuate, it doesn’t eventuate.’’

O’Hara has taken note of how well his former Central team-mate Lee Spurr has adapted to elite level, with his former housemate preparing to play in an AFL preliminary final for Fremantle within the next fortnight.

‘’He’s done really well,’’ O’Hara said of Spurr, who last played for the Bulldogs in the 2011 SANFL grand final.

‘’I suppose he has helped a lot of blokes around the country who are mature-age, to show they can do it after playing a long time in the SANFL.

‘’I lived with him for about three years so we keep in contact, we are pretty good mates.’’

On form alone this year, O’Hara – in the mix to win this year’s Magarey Medal – should be looked at closely by AFL clubs wanting a long-kicking midfielder ready for action.

The Bulldogs’ No.47 has lifted his game to another level in the absence of the Gowans twins, James and Chris, in season 2013.

‘’I had a pretty good pre-season this year as I worked pretty hard,’’ said O’Hara, who collected 41 disposals against Sturt on Sunday.

‘’Knowing those guys (Gowans twins) were leaving, I thought I had to step it up a little bit more like a few of the other guys aged around the 24 and 25 mark. If we wanted to make and impact and play in the finals we knew we had to do that.’’

But if the calling doesn’t come from an AFL club, O’Hara – 183cm and 80kg - still has much to look forward to, including the chase for another premiership with Central.

The carpenter says if the Dogs were to taste the ultimate success this year from fourth spot – after starting with a 0-4 win-loss record – it would rival the experience of playing in his first flag in 2008.

‘’The first one always means a fair bit to you,’’ said O’Hara, who moved from Meningie Football Club to Gawler Central Football Club as a 13-year-old.

‘’If something did come a long and we did end up coming back to win one after also losing 10 or 11 blokes who played league footy last year, that would be something special.’’

 

O'Hara gathers the ball in tough, wet conditions against South Adelaide on July 13 this year
Signature O'Hara... Firstly gathering, then launching the ball long inside 50 against North Adelaide on June 16 this year
O'Hara after the 2009 Grand Final top left. Also in shot are workmates, Ryan Williams, right and Chris Gowans far right. Ian Callinan is front and centre as usual.

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