THE chance to again play with former Manly United teammates Justin Hayward and Johnny Hall was the main reason Dan Grant joined Brookvale a few years ago.
Now 26, the energetic midfielder was a key figure on Wednesday night when the Blues won the MWFA Challenge Cup final 3-2 against CC Strikers.
It was also a personal triumph for Grant, who ruptured the ACL in his knee early last year.
“Injuries are part of football, you just deal with it,” he said.
“Funny thing was it happened in the most innocuous way.
“I was buzzing after they picked me in the MWFA Select Squad…I was coming off a six month lay-off with a hand injury.
“We had a trial game at Melwood Oval and I passed a ball before a defender nicked me and my body twisted in another direction.
“I tried to run it off, but I knew I was in trouble when I cooled down and my knee blew up.”
Two months later surgery followed, with the man they call ‘DG’ a frustrated spectator for 2017.
“I definitely prefer playing to watching,” the landscape gardener said.
“That’s why I was buzzing to win a trophy on Wednesday night, opportunities like that don’t come around often.”
Grant moved to Sydney from Christchurch in 2008, spending that season as a teenager with Narrabeen in the MWFA Premier League.
He then moved into the representative arena with Manly United, playing first grade from 2011-2014.
“I could have kept going at that level, but I wanted to focus on building my business,” Grant said.
“Absolutely no regrets about moving to Brookie (in 2015), they have a good culture,a winning mentalityand are a family club.
“Hopefully now we can go on and win the league plus the grand final, that would be amazing to be a part of.”