Dr Mitchell Tanner to join the Singleton Bulls' 300 game club this Saturday

MILESTONE MAN: Former Singleton Bulls first grade captain Dr Mitchell Tanner will become the club's seventh member of the 300-game club when hosting Nelson Bay tomorrow afternoon. The Singleton Argus paid him a visit on Friday afternoon to reflect on his journey on the eve of the milestone.
MILESTONE MAN: Former Singleton Bulls first grade captain Dr Mitchell Tanner will become the club's seventh member of the 300-game club when hosting Nelson Bay tomorrow afternoon. The Singleton Argus paid him a visit on Friday afternoon to reflect on his journey on the eve of the milestone.

The Singleton Bulls will welcome a seventh member to its 300-game club when hosting Nelson Bay tomorrow afternoon.

And this addition has been worth his weight in gold for his club since making his debut as an 18-year-old in 2003.

"I just love the game and that's why I still play it," Dr Mitchell Tanner said this afternoon when he was paid a visit from the Singleton Argus.

The 35-year-old will join past players Gary Buckton (who reached the milestone in 1992), Shane Thompson (1994), Bruce Robinson (1997), Michael Cruickshanks, Ashton Partridge and current club official Matt Staff (2012).

Yet his primary focus is on securing a victory for his third grade side (currently placed fifth) to secure their spot in the NHRU finals with a round to spare.

IN ACTION: Dr Mitchell Tanner pictured against Maitland in June.

IN ACTION: Dr Mitchell Tanner pictured against Maitland in June.

"Tomorrow's speech to the boys will be, 'as much as this is a very special day for me, the most important thing is just to get out there and win' because we're one game away," he explained.

"I captained first grade in my 200th game and we lost that one.

"I can't remember my 100th but there's every probability that we probably didn't win that one either so better than anything I'd love to have a win tomorrow and celebrate that."

Tanner's career highlights include premierships, captaining the Bulls' first grade side (during his 100+ game stint in the top tier) and playing alongside his younger brother Blake.

MAN OF THE HOUR: Dr Mitchell Tanner pictured at work on Friday afternoon.

MAN OF THE HOUR: Dr Mitchell Tanner pictured at work on Friday afternoon.

His qualifications off the field include a Bachelor of Medicine (University of Newcastle), Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) and a Member of the Australian Medical Association.

Therefore it is fair to say that his assistance has been required on the sidelines on several occasions.

"Most of the patients that recognise me on game day actually play and I think some of the opposition teams are surprised when they find out what I do for a job," the Singleton based doctor playfully added.

"The crowd know who you are as well and you get a bit of a ripping over it but it's all in good nature.

"(I'll admit) Saturday afternoon (during the post-match) is probably my busiest day of the week to tell you the truth but that just goes with the territory of a contact sport."

After playing in a handful of positions at first grade level, the proud Bull admits even this year he has filled four different on field roles for his finals-bound third grade side.

"You could say I'm the 'jack of all trades but the master of none'," he laughed.

"Most blokes have unfortunately pulled the pin due to injuries but I've been very fortunate in that respect.

"I love the game and I love the club because together they're an outlet to catch-up with your friends."

When asked what advice he'd give to the young Mitchell Tanner ahead of his first game in April, 2003?

FLASHBACK: Former Bulls player Paula Kafohiva Moui takes the ball up against the Cooks Hill Brown Snakes with Dr Mitchell Tanner in support back in 2013.

FLASHBACK: Former Bulls player Paula Kafohiva Moui takes the ball up against the Cooks Hill Brown Snakes with Dr Mitchell Tanner in support back in 2013.

"My advice would be to cool down a bit and to collect a few less yellow cards going forward."

MEANWHILE the Singleton Bulls will also recognise the milestone of Mitchell Bayley (200 club games) in the second grade fixture before Daniel Jordan becomes the 129th member (joining his father Mark) to play his 100th in the first grade match.