CHRIS Vidler rampaged his way to the man of the match in Sunday’s Group 4 first grade final win over North Tamworth at Scully Park but it might have been his last game for the Lions.
And the Lions could have a new-look side in 2014 too, with coach Tony La Chiusa, captain Brendan Hunt and club stalwart Adam Miller all confirming Sunday was their last game.
For Vidler to quit was something of a surprise.
The hulking prop was a key weapon in the 33-24 win.
He is at the height of his powers at age 27.
“That was my last game,” a jubilant but restrained Vidler said after the match.
He had just made a point of going to the North Tamworth shed and thanking a couple of the Bears before returning to the Lions’ shed to celebrate with his side for maybe the last time.
“I’ve had enough – my bod has had enough,” he said.
“Just the way work is.
“I’m on my feet all day at the abattoirs and then coming to training takes it out of you.”
Being a part of West’s fifth straight Group 4 first grade premiership was a great way to finish too, he reckoned.
“That’s my first win here at Scully.
“I’ve had a couple of others but they were over at Norths.
“That was a great win.”
He thought his side’s discipline was a key factor after a good start had given his side a 26-10 half-time lead.
Even a five-minute spell in the sin-bin for him after swearing couldn’t put the Lions off their defensive stride in the second half.
‘We spoke about the discipline before the game,” he said.
“That was the main thing. We did go to sleep a couple of times but we switched back on.
“It’s a good way to go out.”
Brendan Hunt is just a year older than Vidler but he is also retiring.
“I’m 28 but the body feels 50,” Hunt said.
“I’ve had a great time though – six years and won five premierships.”
Hunt has battled some serious injuries to be a part of the record five-year run for the Lions.
“We’ve worked really hard for this.”
He said the lack of match practice in the lead-up to the grand final had been negated by a huge work ethic in training.
“We trained real hard in the weeks off,” he said.
“That kept us in good shape for the grand final.”