Marcus (Motor) McMillan will play his 200th senior football game with Yarrawonga this Saturday against Lavington at the J. C. Lowe Oval.
McMillan was recruited to the Pigeons from Strathmerton in late 2002 as then coach Bob Craig had high expectations of Marcus from the ‘bush telegraph’ and wanted the youngster ‘by hook or by crook’.
All Marcus wanted was an electrical apprenticeship and when this was organised with local electrician Steve Coghill, Marcus was a committed Pigeon.
Marcus began his career with Yarrawonga in the first round of 2003, at Corowa, as a 17-year-old centre-half-forward.
The teenager had a tremendous toughness in playing with injuries and completed three seasons without missing a game.
In 2006 he decided to have a crack at football in the S.A.N.F.L with West Adelaide. Marcus made good progress with the Westies, playing eight senior games while the Pigeons were flying at O and M level.
Homesickness and the want to play with his mates at Pigeonland were getting to Marcus. A pre-arrangement in his contract allowing for a clearance back to Yarrawonga was activated and right on clearances closing, Marcus was back.
Cleared on a Friday, he played on the Saturday against Wodonga Raiders and didn’t disappoint – like lining up at centre-half-forward, he kicked 11 goals in a sensational performance.
Marcus went on that year to play in the 2006 premiership, the Pigeons’ third in the O and M.
He has been fortunate to have played in six grand-finals for Yarrawonga, with premierships in 2006, 2012 and 2013; was in the best players in the three victories, having the rare ability to play either end of the ground as a defender or forward kicking goals. This ability is what makes Marcus’s contribution to the Pigeons so significant.
Many at Pigeonland have no doubt Marcus has been the best all round key position player to have played for Yarrawonga. Some of his achievements are:
O and M representative 10 times, the V.C.F.L in 2007, Yarrawonga’s best and fairest 2012; twice runner-up, top three in best and fairest five times, best in finals 2010, 2011 and 2012, three premierships in 2006, 2012 and 2013, and Life Member 2012.
His coaches rate him so highly. Bob Craig said of Marcus: “Never let you down. Always went when it was his turn.”
Craig Ednie: “Not our best trainer but was always reliable, beautiful kick and never beaten.”
Drew Barnes commented: “Love playing with him and it never phased him where we played him.”
It was a particularly big rap from current coach Chris Kennedy. “Marcus is my all-time favourite, play him anywhere, love his competitiveness,” the coach said.