RICCARDI HAPPY TO ACKNOWLEDGE BUDDHA HOCKING FOR MILESTONE Mark Heenan of AAP 14 July 2005
GEELONG veteran Peter Riccardi is seriously contemplating playing on next year, but first he has to thank club legend Garry Hocking.
Riccardi plays his 275th AFL match tomorrow against Port Adelaide at Skilled Stadium, surpassing Hocking's tally of 274 AFL/VFL games to become Geelong's third-most capped player.
Only Ian Nankervis (325) and John Newman (300) have played more matches for Geelong.
Riccardi debuted for the Cats as a 19-year-old in 1992 against West Coast at the expense of Hocking, who hurt his ankle during his daytime job as a garbage collector.
"In 1992 that's how I got my start with Buddha (Garry Hocking) rolling his ankle doing his garbo run and I haven't looked back since," Riccardi said.
Riccardi, relishing the impact role he has played at the club for the past two seasons, expects to sit down with coach Mark Thompson at the end of the season to assess his future.
"I'd love to (go around again next year) but once again we're still seven, eight, nine weeks away from the end of the year," he said.
"At the end of the year, me and Bomber will just assess things again and if the body is right and the mind is willing, yeah I might go again.
"But it's the furthest thing from my mind at the moment, I'm just trying to get through this year and play well tomorrow and hopefully get a win."
The 32-year-old has been forced to shoulder more work this season, uncharacteristically starting on the ground against Sydney last weekend, as Geelong tries to curb its crippling mid-season injury toll.
Riccardi has played 14 games and kicked 11 goals in 2005, and has already exceeded his own expectations this season.
"I would love to have played 15 or 16 games this year and I think I am doing that now and there's still another seven games to go," Riccardi said.
The 1998 club best and fairest winner, who played in three losing grand finals for the Cats during the 1990s, says it's hard to single out one career highlight.
"Probably starting your career, playing in three grand finals is fantastic but not winning one, you just probably put in the back of your memory," he said.
PETER RICCARDI, CARRIED OFF AFTER 250 GAMES LAST SEASON
WHO COULD EVER FORGET THIS GOAL?