THERE’S nothing Wests veteran Glenn Stewart hasn’t achieved at NRL level, but the 34-year-old ticked one final box on his rugby league bucket list in helping steer his junior club to an Illawarra League title on Sunday.
Even at the peak of his NRL career, Stewart always hoped to run one final lap at the club with which he first kicked a footy with brother Brett as a six-year-old, with Sunday’s 18-16 win over Thirroul a fitting swansong for the Clive Churchill Medalist.
“That’s me done now so I’m so happy with the year I’ve had back here with Wests and very appreciative of it,” Stewart said.
“It’s so sentimental, I’ve played for the club from the age of six and it’s been such a huge part of our life and our upbringing.
“Even when we were up Sydney we always came back and there’s been so many great people over the years who are still here. It’s a great club and it really looks after its own.”
Stewart made a number of big defensive plays late in the game as his side clung to a two-point lead and put Mitch Porter over for his second try in what prove the match-winning try just before the break.
It was a performance that showed all the class you’d expect from a two-time NRL premiership-winner, but Stewart was quick to heap praise on the club’s young stars.
“The young guys have really helped me along this year,” he said.
“People say it’s good of me to come back to the club and help but a lot of them have done a much better job than me so I’ve got a lot to thank them for.
“They’ve put all the work in and it’s an effort-based team and I’m really proud of the young blokes. To get the trophy up is just awesome.”