It was almost poetic that as one Cairns footballer’s career finished, another’s has just begun.
That was the case on the weekend as Jarrod Harbrow called time on his glittering career with one final game, while young SUNS Academy product Alex Davies earnt the opportunity to make his AFL debut in Round 23.
Harbrow is Cairns’ most decorated AFL footballer, and has blazed a trail that has seen many, like Davies, follow on the way to a professional career.
Speaking after the match, Senior Coach Stuart Dew said Harbrow had been a fantastic servant of the Gold Coast SUNS since the club’s inaugural season.
“Jarrod and Dave (Swallow) have been the role models of our footy club both on the field and off the field,” Dew said.
“Jarrod’s work that he does through his Harbrow Mentoring in the community at the moment is outstanding and we're really proud of the work he does there and our allegiance with him.
“We look forward to continuing that in the future.”
Unfortunately it wasn’t the fairytale finish Harbrow would have wanted, with the 33-year-old subbed out late in the match with injury.
However Dew said Harbrow handled it with the same the non-fuss approach he has had his entire career.
“Certainly in my time here, the way he goes about his footy (is inspiring), not many guys could not play for a number of weeks and then do what he did to get up for today,” Dew said.
“Unfortunately, it looks like he's copped a bit of an injury but in typical Harbs’ style he just laughed it off and said well, that's the way it goes.
“He loves the footy club and the footy club love him back.”
It was an eye-opening debut for Davies, who had 16 disposals, 14 of those contested, six tackles and three shots on goal.
Dew said he was extremely impressed with the debutant’s performance.
“I thought he was absolutely unbelievable the way he stood up in his first game,” Dew said.
“Alex is another example of that today and we didn't just throw him in for a token game, it was really important that he earned that.
“He showed that today. His first thing he said when he got the game was that he was rapt to be playing in Jarrod Harbrow’s last game.”
As Harbrow hangs up the boots, he can be content in knowing Cairns football has a bright future.