Trent’s noble journey

Former St Kilda and Richmond ruckman Trent Knobel has achieved a lot in his football career, but during his 18-year career there was one thing that eluded him – a premiership.

On Saturday he achieved that goal and walked off the ground with the Vic Country Medal, awarded by the umpires, for best-on-ground.

Following his team’s 21-point victory over Leongatha, he described the experience as “surreal”.

“I’ve waited 18 years for a premiership and it’s like I said on the radio just before, it’s amazing,” Knobel said.

“I joined this beautiful little community a year and a half ago.

“They play for their community, they play for each other and I couldn’t have asked for a better day.”

Maffra finished second to Leongatha during the home and away season, losing only five games.

The ex-AFL player said the Eagles’ season had been fantastic.

“We’ve been building and building and building,” he said.

“My season personally has been so-so, but I only wanted one thing and today’s the outcome of that and loving every minute of it.” He described winning the premiership as “the icing on the cake” of a career which started on the Gold Coast and eventually resulted in a 75-game AFL career.

“I’ve never had the premiership – like I said 18 years, but well worth it.”

His teammate Mitch Bennett said he was “over the moon” after receiving the Stan Aitken Medal, awarded by the league, for best on ground.

Bennett said he did not do anything special to win the medal and had continued playing his normal game throughout the grand final.

“I was a bit quiet in the other two finals, so I thought I better pull it off (a good performance),” the former Sale City player said.

“Luck came my way, so it was excellent.”

He said the team had applied the same intensity, which propelled the Eagles to their semi-final win over the Parrots.