A CASUAL chat with some dads at Auskick led to Nick Tennant playing in his third senior premiership on Saturday.
Tennant was named best player in Woori Yallock's 35-point win over minor premiers Gembrook Cockatoo in the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League grand final.
The result was a 150-point turnaround from the semi-final between the two sides when an undermanned Woori team was thumped by Gembrook Cockatoo.
But for Tennant, he never expected to find himself in the middle of Woori's premiership celebrations.
His season started in the Eastern Football League as interleague coach for the division 3-4 side and coach of division 3 club Ringwood, but his time with the Redbacks ended early in the season when the two parted ways.
It was soon after that Tennant was chatting with a couple of dads at Lilydale Auskick, where he is also a coach.
One of those dads was Danny Ryan, Woori Yallock's coach. "It was a more a passing sort of 'what are you doing with your footy' sort of chat," he said.
"They needed a forward pocket, ruckman. They would have been half expecting me to say no but it went on from there. Considering I started the year as coach of Ringwood, I'd have never thought I'd be in that situation. It was fantastic to head up there and play."
Tennant played the rest of the season with the Tigers, a move he has loved despite having never played in the YVMDFL before. He compared the standard of football in the YVMDFL to "mid-second division EFL".
"I wasn't looking to play with anyone but they were going OK and looked as though they would be in the finals, which made them more appealing," he said.
Grand final day turned into the perfect storm for the Tigers as Healesville's big ground and the bright sunshine set the ideal conditions for the Tigers' running game.
"Besides myself and a couple of others, we are a very young side and the team just ran," he said. "We were a goal down at half-time but our run was too much for them in the second half.
"Comparing flags is like comparing your kids, each one has got their own special feelings and experiences attached to them. When you look at the turnaround we made from the semi-finals, it was a very satisfying result."
While Tennant was named best player by the Tigers, Hayden Smith won the VCFL medal for best on ground.
Tennant has kept his options open for next season. He said he would sit back and consider whether he would play, coach or even take a season off. But he will still have Auskick to keep him engaged, at least until the next dad wants to have a chat.
YVDMFL division 1 grand final
Woori Yallock 3.6, 7.6, 12.9, 16.15 (111)
Gembrook Cockatoo 5.3, 8.7, 8.13, 10.16 (76)
GOALS, Woori Yallock: D. Lewis 3, N. Tennant 3, J. Matthews 2, K. Busoli 2, J. Williamson 1, J. Williams 1, B. Sneddon 1, F. Elliott 1, H. Smith 1, M. King 1
Gembrook Cockatoo: S. Gough 2, R. Clark 2, A. Shipp 1, C. Vernal 1, D. Main 1, A. Walker 1, C. Clarke 1, S. Williams 1
BEST, Woori Yallock: N. Tennant, H. Smith, D. Ryan, K. Busoli, J. Williams, T. Williamson
Gembrook Cockatoo: R. Clark, A. Walker, T. Whytcross, C. Clarke, S. Gough, S. Williams.