Horsley to 150

 
There aren’t many footballers in the WAFL that have managed what Subiaco captain Kyal Horsley has on his journey to 150 games.

Horsley came from humble beginnings at the Kalgoorlie City Football Club and chased his dreams to the city of Perth. The powerful midfielder made his league debut for the Lions in 2007 and he hasn’t looked back.
 
“It’s such an honour to go from the beginnings of kicking a football around in Kalgoorlie to achieving 150 games at a club like Subiaco. When I was younger some of these things would have almost seemed un-achievable, but now I’m older I can look back in pride.” Said Horsley

The three-time league premiership player, (one in reserves), started playing field hockey before football became his calling.
 
“I actually played field hockey till I was about 13-14, so I picked up the footy late. I won a fairest and best for Kalgoorlie City when I was 18 and only then I thought I might have been able to do something with it,

“My first Subiaco training session was an eye opener. I finished the warm up and thought the session was done, I was already cramping ten minutes into the session. This sort of established how hard you had to work, it set the standard and I enjoyed that.” Added Horsley

Horsley came into the league side at a time of overwhelming success for the football club. The Glory Years were a dominant time for the Lions and they welcomed the big-kicking midfielder from the Goldfields.
 
“I remember Subiaco had lost to Peel the week before and I had a ripper game in the reserves. The timing worked out well for me with Scott Watters creating a space for me against East Fremantle,
 
“I started on half forward and managed, got sent to half back and was utilised as a tagger over the rest of the season. I didn’t mind playing around the field if I got an opportunity on the ball. Everyone has to earn their keep.” Said Horsley

A few players have influenced Horsley along the way and he acknowledges Glory Years’ player Mark Haynes as one of the biggest impacts on his game.

“In the early days Ben Randall, Blake Broadhurst and Mark Haynes were definitely the biggest influencers on my footy. Especially Mark Haynes, I still reiterate that he is one of the hardest working footballers I have ever met. I tried to replicate a lot of what Hayne’s did both as a footballer and a person.” Said Horsley
 
After two premiership wins and an Outridge Medal for the 2011 season, the man affectionately known as “Horse” got his crack at AFL level alongside Gary Ablett Jr at the Gold Coast Suns in 2012-2013. His two years in the AFL still hold mixed memories.
 
“I have a lot of fond memories of the AFL journey despite it being a very tough time for the team. We lost a lot of games by big margins and it eventually became mentally draining. It reinforced to me what it takes to create a successful team, you can have all the individual talent in the world but what does it matter if the players aren’t working for each other,
 
“That was a refreshing discovery when I came back to Subiaco and was reminded of how hard everyone works for each other. We trust each other and we have a strong enough connection as a team to call each other out when someone is straying from the path, whether it be work ethic or game-plan, the re-direction is coming from a positive place.” Said Horsley
 

When it was time to return home, Horsley knew there was more left in him. To the Subiaco Football Club’s delight, Horse returned from an ACL injury to captain the Lions and led his team to a premiership in his first year.

“As anyone who has done a knee knows, they are pretty daunting to overcome. Even though you try and get around the boys and be a part of the group you are always restricted. I was lucky to have a really good recovery and I avoided recurring injury which was amazing. The closer I got through training and recovery the more driven I became,

“The first year back I was injured for the preliminary final against East Fremantle and that was one of the hardest games to watch.” Said Horsley

The Lions lucky escape from the Sharks set up a famous Subiaco Grand Final win and one of the skippers’ best memories.
 
"My favourite football memory to date is that 2014 Grand Final win over East Perth. We were big underdogs in that game and to get over the line, somewhat comfortably, was incredible. That really demonstrated that a team with the right structure, game plan and attitude can win on any given day,
 
"There can’t be any passengers. It has to be 22 people buying into the system and working hard for each other and that’s what happened.” added Horsley
 
Now the Horse has reached 150 games not a lot has changed about his demeanour. His eyes are firmly focussed on the Bulldogs this Saturday

My focus is on South Fremantle and the matchup on Saturday.
 
"South have been the barometer so far this season and we will have to be switched on to get the win. We’re looking forward to the challenge." added Horsley

Horsley will play his 150th on Saturday at Leederville Oval.
 
 
 

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