STILL KEEN: Doonvilla veteran Colin Bassett.
STILL KEEN: Doonvilla veteran Colin Bassett. Hayden Johnson

Bassett kicks on

AFTER 41 years playing the round ball game, Colin Bassett still feels like a kid on Christmas morning - and that's not because he wears child's size boots.

While most blokes his age strap on the cleats only for masters tournaments, Bassett is still going strong at age 50, continually pushing for a place in Doonvilla's number one side.

Having played a combined 19 first division games in the Fraser Coast League and Four Cities League this year, Bassett is hoping to bring his wealth of experience to tonight's elimination semi-final against Sunbury at Federation Park.

The father-of-two is not only the oldest player in the competition, but one of the smallest, standing just under 160cm and weighing 55kg.

More often than not during his career Bassett has been the shortest player on the pitch, but has never let that affect him.

In fact, the reliable defensive midfielder thrives on it.

"I love the challenge and like any person who plays the sport, you challenge yourself to do better, even when you're 50," he said.

Since first lacing up his boots for Doonvilla when they were known as the Devils, Bassett has played in Brisbane and Malaysia, and remarkably only missed one season.

When he was a wide-eyed and tiny 11-year-old, he became one of the first players from Maryborough selected in a Queensland side, representing his state at the national 12 years schoolboys championship during his sole season with Sunbury in 1974.

From 1983 to 1989, he represented Brisbane City in the XXXX Premier League, and in 1991 returned to Doonvilla to play in the CQ League.

The following year he was part of the team that lost the 1992 grand final in Rockhampton.

Sure, Bassett isn't able to do what he used to, but he is still quick off the mark and has exquisite skills for a bloke who will pass the half century mark later this year.

But what fuels his passion for the sport is not a need to defy time, but the joy he gets out of winning.

"For me, the more I play the more I learn.

"And the more I learn the more I realise what a great game it is to play," he said.

"It's like chess. You have to think two or three steps ahead of your opponent.

"Every time I put the boots on and go on the field I want to win.

"No matter what game it is I want to win."

As for the dreaded "r" word, Bassett said retirement hadn't entered his mind.

"Not really, at this point I feel good and I want to play at the highest level for as long as I can even if that means playing second division or third division," he said.

"I'll play until the point I can't play anymore."



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