LAKE WENDOUREE'S Sam Clifton is the epitome of loyalty.
In fact, he has spent more than half his life playing football for his beloved Lakers.
Now, in a massive achievement, the 24-year-old will on Saturday play his 250th game in the blue, green and gold.
Having started out at the club in the under-12s, not a year has gone by when Clifton has not spent his winters at Wendouree Reserves.
Known as one of the feared forwards of the Ballarat Football League in his junior days, Clifton now plies his craft in the Lake Wendouree backline.
Regardless of his position, he says he could not imagine playing football anywhere else.
"The milestone came along pretty quickly. I only found out about it a few weeks ago but it is definitely nice," Clifton said.
"Most of the senior group and the reserves group have been playing together for a few years now, even more, maybe 10 or 12 years.
"It's a really family-orientated group and we're just working towards trying to win a few more games together."
Reflecting on a career that included four years as captain of the junior sides, two junior club best and fairests and a league goal kicking award in the under-16s, Clifton said the challenge was now laid bare to continue having a strong impact at senior level.
And of course, to keep striving towards the elusive premiership.
"I've been in a couple of losing grand finals but never won one," Clifton said.
"It would be great to win one but they are so hard these days."