Not every rugby fanatic can say they represented the Club they grew up idolising, but for Gordon star James Lough, this Saturday marks his 100th appearance in his beloved tartan colours.
A local junior, James is a product of Chatswood Junior Rugby Club and St Augustine’s College in Brookvale.
His talent and leadership were recognised at an early age, regularly captaining NSW School Boy sides as well as inclusion in the Junior Waratahs Academy. But for James, his rugby success can all be credited to one thing.
“Gordon has given me everything,” he said.
“All of my closest friends are at the Club, they set me up with my university degree whilst also pushing me through the Colts system and eventually into Grade.
“Friends, family and the Club – they’re the three pillars in my life.”
As a naturally humble Club ambassador, James is quick to reflect on the importance of his senior coaches and mentors during his rise through the Gordon ranks.
“David Telfer was influential in getting me to the Club and really fostering that love in my early years,” he said.
“Then the likes of Darren Colman and Billy Melrose, who are at the forefront of all the success this Club has had over my time.
“Everything we do has a purpose. That’s the big thing that DC [Darren Colman] has taught us over recent years and it’s allowing our younger players to know what’s expected from them.”
Lough was influential in the Stags Shute Shield premiership in 2020, securing the Clubs first trophy in 22 years.
But for the Highlanders centurion, there is a real sense that the side remain at the beginning of a sustained journey for success.
“There’s a real belief in this group at the moment and the game against Manly last week proved that,” Lough said.
“The biggest thing for us is the confidence we have in our senior leadership, namely Jordan Goddard and Jack Margin. The confidence they instill in our side is outstanding.
“Our belief comes from recognising what last season was, which was phenomenal, and then understanding that we’re a new side with a different dynamic and being able to embrace that.”
However, despite all the talk of silverware and success, James’ milestone match against the Two Blues on Saturday is recognition of a childhood dream.
“Playing First Grade for Gordon was all that my mates and I wanted to do growing up,” he said.
“I know that they’ll be proud of me on Saturday and that’s very special.”
Gordon host the Western Sydney Two Blues this Saturday in Round Two of the Charter Hall Shute Shield.
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