Barker to step down after history-making fourth win
FOOTBALL: Frenchville Roos stalwart Tim Barker has decided to call time on his CQ Premier League career after the team's historic grand final win on Saturday.
But he has no intention of walking away from the game completely, with plans to have a run in reserve grade next year.
The 29-year-old has been been part of Frenchville's history-making four consecutive Wesley Hall Cup wins and has played with the club for 17 years.
"It feels fantastic,” Barker said after claiming title number four with a hard-fought 6-5 win over Clinton on Saturday night.
"When you think back on all the great Frenchville teams it feels great to be considered a part of that.
"We didn't really focus on the four in a row but it's great to have it and it's great to be part of history.”
Barker had contemplated retirement at the start of the year but said the lure of four in a row kept him playing this season.
"It's just getting harder and harder to back up each week so I'll take a step back and let the younger fellas have a go,” he said.
"I'll still be around the club and I'll still play seconds and help the young boys.”
Frenchville coach Justin Kilshaw said Barker proved in the final just how valuable he was to the side.
"I would go so far as to say that he was every bit as good as Jordan (Miller) on Saturday night,” he said.
"He's certainly been a stalwart of the team. Jesse Thompson missed a number of games this season and Tim stepped up to captain the side in his absence and was fabulous.
"He's a real personality in the team. He really amps everyone up and he's very jovial and his character will certainly be missed in the first team and very difficult to replace.”
Kilshaw said that Barker had a broad skill set.
"He's very strong on the ball and very hard to get the ball from. His tight control and skill has been first class and something we've built our game around,” he said.
"We only play three in midfield where most other teams have four. We are able to do that because those players are mobile and highly skilled and Tim is every inch of that.
"He's figured prominently at our awards nights over the years and I'd expect he will feature again this year.”