GUY Mepham doesn’t mind what number he wears or when he actually plays for Greater Northern in tomorrow’s Tier 2 Country Championship clash with Western at Singleton’s ResCo Park.
He’s just glad to be playing football.
The 25-year-old self-employed Inverell bricklayer is captain-coaching Tingha in this season’s expanded Group 19 competition.
However that commitment looked like it had come to a shattering end early on when his side tackled Goondiwindi Boars at Tingha.
Mepham went down in a tackle with what looked a terrible knee injury.
Locals had him “dead and buried”.
“So did I,” he admitted after Tuesday night’s Greater Northern training session at David Taylor Park, Werris Creek.
“We all thought I’d shattered it but it turned out only to be dislocated.
“And there was no ligament damage.
“That was a blessing.”
So instead of spending time on the sideline, Mepham decided to “come back early” to help out an injury-hit Tingha as well as try to win a representative spot in the Greater Northern side again.
“I played last year when we beat Northern Rivers at Moree,” he said.
“That was great. Then we got beaten by Newcastle in Newcastle.
“I’m looking forward to it again this year.
Born and bred in Inverell, Mepham was a student at Trinity Lismore.
He also spent two and a half years in the Melbourne Storm system.
“I loved it,” he said.
“I played with their feeder clubs and in the Under 20s.
“But I came home in 2009 and played with Tingha. We won the comp that first year.”
Picked as the run-on hooker initially for Greater Northern, that could change, with coach Darryl Rando’s match plan leaning towards having someone of Mepham’s attacking brilliance around the ruck coming on against a tiring forward.
“It doesn’t matter where or when I play,” Mepham said.
“It’s just great to be able to get out there.”
As for Tingha, he hasn’t lost hope even though they are languishing in sixth spot after two wins and three losses.
“It’s still looking promising for us,” Mepham said as he prepared for a weekend that he hopes will lead to a Tiger Country Championships success at Singleton while his Tingha Tigers have the bye in Group 19.