Bush footy legend Mitch Wyatte will this weekend play in his 13th grand final of the past 15 seasons – and reckons he's got another 10 years to go!
Remarkably, the only years he hasn't featured in a decider – 2005 and 2013 – he was playing Intrust Super Cup or his team was knocked out in the semis.
A well-respected player in his time playing Intrust Super Cup with the Central Queensland Capras (then named Comets), Wyatte comes from the small mining town of Tieri, population 1,100.
"Wherever he goes, success goes," QRL Central Highlands Operation Manager Cameron Stallard said.
"If he wanted to, I dare say he could have played a lot more Intrust Super Cup, but he works in the mines and has a family, so he has to balance priorities."
Normally a five-eighth, 33-year-old Wyatte played in the same high school team as Australian and Queensland forward Matt Scott.
He has played in grand finals representing hometown club Peak Downs Pirates, Rockhampton Brothers, Mackay Brothers, Bluff Rabbitohs and Middlemount Panthers.
This Saturday he will trot out for Bluff against Blackwater Crushers.
A win would mark his seventh premiership.
"I grew up around footy and my old man Ross Wyatte played a fair bit of A Grade down in Ipswich," Wyatte jnr said.
"I've got four kids, including two sons, and I keep asking them 'Should I hang up my boots?' and they say 'Nah, keep going'.
"I like to keep fit and I sort of had it in my mind to keep going until I can play alongside them, which would be 43 by my calculations."
As well as running around again this year with Bluff, Wyatte has been coaching the Peak Downs Pirates Under 8s, in which one of his sons plays.
Wyatte himself had seven seasons wearing the Pirates uniform until the club disbanded at the end of 2013.
His present teammates at Bluff include former Queensland Residents and North Queensland Cowboys-contracted player Leigh Coghill.
On the opposing team for Blackwater is Jai Ingram, formerly contracted to the Cowboys, Gold Coast Titans and Melbourne Storm.
Ingram played for the Titans in the 2015 NRL Auckland Nines.
Regardless of the result it will be a fairy tale for one of the protagonists.
Ingram, 26, last year said he was retiring from all football after breaking his ankle playing for the Hervey Bay Seagulls.
"My body just isn't up to it anymore," he said at the time.
However, he has returned successfully for Blackwater in 2018, with the Crushers losing just two games – both to Bluff – including a 30-14 defeat in the major semi a fortnight ago.
Saturday's final will be held at Macca's Oval, Bluff, beginning with junior games at 9am and featuring the women's grand final between Blackwater and Emerald Cowboys at 5.15pm.
The men's A Grade game kicks off at 7.30pm.
Mitch Wyatte's Career Record
2004: Rockhampton Brothers lost to Norths in GF
2005: Played Intrust Super Cup for CQ Comets
2006: Peak Downs lost to Bluff in GF
2007: Peak Downs beat Bluff in GF
2008: Peak Downs lost to Emerald Tigers in GF
2009: Peak Downs beat Middlemount in GF
2010: Mackay Brothers lost to Souths in GF
2011: Peak Downs beat Dysart in GF
2012: Peak Downs beat Clermont in GF
2013: Peak Downs lost in semi-finals
2014: Bluff Rabbitohs lost to Clermont in GF
2015: Bluff Rabbitohs beat Clermont in GF
2016: Middlemount Panthers lost to Emerald Tigers in GF
2017: Middlemount Panthers beat Bluff in GF
2018: Bluff Rabbitohs playing Blackwater in GF