Hepburn stalwart Alan Ware is set to break the club's senior games played record this weekend when the Burra host Learmonth.
Nicknamed "Bundy", Ware will don the famous red and blue guernsey for the 320th time, surpassing the previous record of 319 held by Darren Elderfield, a three-time Hepburn premiership player in the 1980s.
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It's been a long time coming, the COVID-19 affected 2020 season preventing him from achieving the milestone that year and lockdowns forcing Ware to wait longer than he would have expected this season.
A Hepburn junior, Ware has spent his entire career at the club, playing in nine grand finals and six premierships (2004-2005, 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2017), captaining two of them.
Amazingly, he has won more premierships than the second ranked club in Springbank, who has won five flags.
Hepburn leads with nine premierships.
Ware told The Courier it is a nice milestone to achieve.
"Pretty exciting. It's nothing I ever really planned on doing, it just sort of fell into place and never really got too injured along the way really, most of my injuries I've been able to play through," he said.
Ware debuted as a 15-year-old and experienced what many following the league now would never have seen; Hepburn struggling on the field.
He said he was on the receiving end of some big losses in the early 2000s.
"I was playing junior footy and then also playing a full game in the seniors and there was probably two or three other boys out of the under 18's that were doing the same sort of thing," he said.
"Getting absolutely pantsed until about the end of 2003 and then Robbo (Shane Robertson) came in 2004 with a few recruits and the whole thing sort of turned around."
Losing in such fashion is what helped drive Ware once Hepburn grew into a powerhouse in the mid 2000s to continue winning and create the dominant senior side we know today.
"After 2004 after we won a flag coming back to the club rooms I don't think I've ever seen so many spectators and supporters around the club," he said.
"Success sort of just grew from there really, everyone sort of wanted to push each other further and further."
A one-club player, crossing to a different side has crossed Ware's mind but he remained at the Burra.
"A few years ago I was going to go out and have a kick with Trentham, just try something different," he said.
"Work and everything changed my mind and decided to stick around Hepburn and sort of haven't looked back really."
A hard-working backman, current co-coach Jason Olver said he's been a reliable player his entire career.
"You just know that when you're picking him on a weekly basis and you actually designate an opponent to him ... that fella is going to be nullified, (Ware's) going to break-even or he's actually going to beat him and take him out of the game," he said.
"They're just as important as your superstars that are trying to rack up 30 possessions a game or your goalkickers, to have a bloke at that end of the ground who can marshal the troops but at the same time negate his opponent.
"He's very down to earth, he's very quiet around the club, he just leads by example, he's just been a real work-horse through his whole career."
With Hepburn looking set to challenge for another premiership this season, Ware is confident the group can make a good run at it.
"I think we're nearly going to have most of the boys back on the track this week and rolling into the first final," he said.
"Pretty exciting finals series I think, nearly anyone can win it from the top eight on their day."
Ware hopes to play another couple of seasons and with the strong list Hepburn has, he could possibly add to his six premierships.
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