Dan Overeem is in the midst of the great reward for great effort phase of his footy career, as a potent marriage of durability and skill propel him towards one of AFL North West’s most exclusive clubs.
On the cusp of becoming the first player to register 300 games, on the verge of his 37th birthday, the Kangaroos forward is a relic from the past who is still very much relevant – evidenced by his 14 goals against Moree at No.1 Oval on Saturday.
Two decades after relocating to Tamworth from Hobart when his stepfather, Robert Hanley, became an ANZ regional manager, Overeem is proud of his place in the game in New England. He shares his achievements with his wife, Sarah, and their children, Abbey, 6, and Jack, 5.
AFL North West records are hard to verify. But Overeem said no one in the competition’s history had scored more goals or played more games than him.
A Roos life member and a member of the 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2011 premiership-winning sides, he said he had booted about 1000 goals and had played more than 290 games. “I think we’re gonna go close to getting it [300 games] this year,” he said. “It is an achievement,” he added. “When that day does come I’ll take it all in and I’ll be proud of the achievement … I’ve had my fair share of injuries, but I’ve slowly crept up there. It will be a good day when that day comes.”
After playing junior footy in Hobart, Overeem debuted in Tamworth in the second season of the then Tamworth-based competition, when the Roos were known as Nuttsy’s Bulldogs. He was there when the Bulldogs became the Cargill Kangaroos in 1999 and the Tamworth Kangaroos in 2002.
And he was there at No.1 Oval on Saturday, with his goal-kicking radar on lock, as he went within a major of Dean Hoy’s club record, albeit against a Suns sides he labelled “inexperienced” and “undermanned”. Had his form not waned in the final quarter, when he kicked two goals and four behinds, he may have broken it.
The record being mentioned at three-quarter time didn’t help him. “So that just added a bit of added pressure, actually,” he said. “And it played on my mind a little bit, because I was pretty straight up until three-quarter time.”