GROUP SEVEN RUGBY LEAGUE
He has played every rugby league position except prop and doesn't want to start now.
Yet Kiama Knights co-captain Mark Laird is so much more than your average utility player.
The 32-year-old firefighter is the heart and soul of the Knights - a loyal one-club man who deserves to have a premiership listed on his resume.
A top grade rookie in 2001, Laird is one of the best players in Group Seven over the past decade not to play in a grand final.
The workaholic lock is sure to feature prominently when Kiama meet Jamberoo in this afternoon's elimination semi-final at Kevin Walsh Oval.
"Everyone knows anything can happen in the semis and we'll be in there having a crack, that's for sure," Laird said.
"We've got a lot of young guys who've got a few seasons of first grade under their belts now, and they're really starting to fire.
"We've got the enthusiasm there and a couple of old heads, so I definitely think we've got the team to give it a shake."
With his high work rate and versatility, Laird pops up anywhere on the field. But he has no desire to become one of the rare few who play every position at least once before they retire.
"I've never played prop and I don't really want to," he said.
"If I get put there, that'll do me. I think I'll walk away."
Laird has no plans to walk away in the near future.
Born and bred in Kiama, he is looking forward to playing for the Knights in the club's 2014 centenary season.
"I've never wanted to play for any other team," he said.
"I was retiring at 30, but I got to 30 and the hunger and the passion's still there. As long as I'm not a burden on the team or getting around on a walking stick, I'll hang around for a bit.
"It'd be perfect to go out on a premiership in the club's 100th year."
The Knights battled Jamberoo for fourth spot over the final month of the regular season but had to settle for fifth after losing to Albion Park-Oak Flats in last week's final round.
Kiama beat the Superoos on their home ground a few weeks ago and hold no fears about returning to the scene of the crime.
"They're on a par with Gerringong for us in terms of a local derby, so we're definitely keen to get out there and give them a good shake-up," Laird said.
"They've got a pretty handy forward pack and [captain-coach Matt] Coelho's pretty good at getting a side around and backs up well.
"If we get up early on them in defence we'll go a good way to winning it.
"We're definitely getting there. The last couple of years we've been building a bit, and although we finished fifth, I'd like to think we've got plenty of good footy in us."
Coelho said last week's narrow loss to Warilla had only strengthened team morale.
"We took a heap of confidence out of last week," Coelho said.
"We were unlucky not to get the draw, but the boys pretty much took it as a win.
"Warilla were the form team over the last six to eight weeks, so we know we can match it with any team in the comp now."
Despite losing representative winger Jeremy Ryan to a season-ending elbow injury, the Roos like their chances.
"We didn't play semi-finals last year so everyone's jumping out of their skins," Coelho said.