Carey Park Football Club veteran Viv Blurton reaches 200 game milestone

Carey Park wingman Viv Blurton will reach 200 games for the club in round seven. Photo by Jon Gellweiler.
Carey Park wingman Viv Blurton will reach 200 games for the club in round seven. Photo by Jon Gellweiler.

"I love everything about footy."

Carey Park Football Club player Viv Blurton will be the third Indigenous player to reach 200 games for the club when he puts on his boots in round seven.

As a Noongar man, Blurton said that was something he was most of proud of.

"The club has a long affiliation with Indigenous men in the community so to be third to get 200 i'm super proud of that," he said.

Blurton started his footy career as a young six year old playing for the Eaton Juniors.

He rose through ranks at Eaton and played 38 league games there before moving across to Carey Park in 2005.

The Panthers were a strong team at the time, winning a flag in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

However, Blurton missed out on the 06 premiership after being forced to watch on the sidelines for the whole season with a shoulder reconstruction.

Blurton said the injuries contributed to making his first premiership win 2008 more special.

"It's having team success is what you play footy for and been fortunate enough to win four," he said.

"I have some great memories."

After reaching the grand final in 2015, Blurton said he felt like his footy was stagnant and needed a change.

So he played three season for Pemberton in the Lower South West League, where he also won two flags there too.

As Blurton looked back on his footy career, he said playing with his younger brother for his first league game was a highlight.

"I think playing with my younger brother in his first league game was an awesome experience," he said.

"He was 15 years old and I really enjoyed it."

He said his first league premiership was also a huge thrill, particularly because he missed out in '06 from injury.

But Blurton's success doesn't stop there, he has also been involved in six Landmark teams, two GWABA teams which between those won five grand finals.

The GWABA carnival is a Noongar based event where teams from across the state come to play each year.

Despite being runner up three times, Blurton hasn't been able to achieve the Carey Park's fairest and Best Harris medal.

"The personal stuff doesn't worry me too much, its all about the team success," he said.

Blurton did captain the side in 2010 and 2011, but found the extra commitment was too much to juggle alongside work and family as well.

"It wasn't hard to enjoy I just couldn't commit to the expectation that clubs want over a league captain and I didn't want the burden of having to be the face of the footy club," he said.

Blurton's passion and involvement in football is undeniable and he said how now he is older he does a lot with developing the young ones at the club.

He also is a runner for his step-daughter's team and coaches his son's year four side.

"I suppose at their age it is about teaching them the enjoyment, making sure they enjoy the game because that way they will be involved longer," he said.

However, he did add that "my little fella just loves winning, even though I tell him winning isn't everything" Blurton laughed.

If the pandemic didn't occur, then Blurton may have reached his milestone game sooner, but he said he was pushed to play on for another season.

"I was about 30 odd games off it when I moved to southerners, but never intended on playing at any other club in the South West other than Carey Park," he said.

"I love the club and the people and the club itself has given me amazing opportunities and felt like I owed them.

"I know that when I retire I will miss the game so I just feel as though I want to play for as long as I can if my mind and body allows me. I don't want be a player that potentially takes the spot of a younger player that could come in and play a role for us."

Blurton said it was important for him to thank his supportive wife, who has allowed them to have nearly zero social life during the winter for years.

"My parents never miss a game and travel everywhere and always there cheering us on," he said.

As of round four, Blurton is sitting on 197 games and is hopeful his milestone will be reached when Carey Park take on Donnybook.