Milestone man stays true to red and blue
West Perth ruckman Chris Keunen will play his 150th game this weekend. Pic: Ben Crabtree/WA News

When you think about the players who contributed to West Perth's premiership last season, Troy Skilton is not a name that comes to mind.

The 24-game Falcon played his last league game in 2008, but on the eve of ruckman Chris Keunen's 150th game for the club, Skilton's true contribution to the breakthrough flag has come to light.

Keunen claimed his place as one of the premier ruckmen in the competition in 2013, leading a young but talented midfield throughout the season and ultimately outworking East Perth's combination of Paul Johnson and Scott Lycett on grand final day.

If not for Skilton, it may not have panned out that way.

Tired of being stuck behind AFL pair Robert Warnock and Mark Seaby in his first few years at West Perth, Keunen was entertaining offers to join other clubs ahead of the 2010 season.

It was the return of his good mate Skilton, who was attempting a comeback after a season in the country, and some wise words from his wife Anna which persuaded him to stay.

"There were a few good things put down on the table and a couple where I was pretty close to moving," Keunen said.

"There were a couple of things which turned me around.

"My wife talked about the fact that I mentioned about being a one-club player and being loyal to the footy club, then one of my best mates came back to the club.

"I managed to play in a premiership last year and now obviously 150 (games), so I think I made the right choice."

Tomorrow's game against Perth at Lathlain Park will earn Keunen life membership.

He said while the accolade is special for every player, it feels particularly good having been made to work so hard for opportunities in his early days.

"It's pretty special and something I'll certainly treasure," he said. "I probably didn't even picture getting to 100 games let alone 150, but since they've left I've had my opportunities and taken them as best I can.

"It paid off, the persistence and willingness to hang around."

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West