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By Peter Argent

Seven-time premiership defender at the kennel, Yves ‘Evil ‘ Sibenaler is still displaying the same passion and commitment for his role within his team at the age of 33, that most people a decade or more his junior.

In this weekend round five clash against the Port Adelaide Magpies in a crucial game at Alberton Oval he becomes a 150-game SANFL league footballer.

Last year he agonized on the boundary on Grand Final day as his team went down by three points to the Eagles, after his work commitments,(moving into the SA fire brigade), dragged him away from the game he loves. 

How Roy (Laird) could have used his height and discipline on that season deciding October Sunday!

Laird has a huge respect for this affable and genuine bloke, who has always “got the time of the day” for the supporters and equally has extracted the most out of his ability.

“It is fair to say he’s a late starter from the point of view of being a league footballer,” Laird commented.

“But since going into defence he’s been a tower of strength from a coaches’ perspective.

“You want him playing.

“He gives our defence a real authority figure and he rarely gets beaten.

“He’s the ultimate competitor.

“A fantastic team man, Yves has made the most of his ability through sheer hard work.

“He’s down a huge among of work on his strength and fitness.”

Sibenaler has been around the Ponderosa since his youth.

He played a season of underage football in the red, white and blue in 1997, before returning to his foundation club South Gawler the following year.

In 1999 he returned and did a significant apprenticeship in Central District's reserves.

When quizzed about what this milestone means, Sibenaler apologised about being clichéd, but said “it was something to reflect on after I’ve finished playing.”

“I also have played a lot of reserves football; I reckon I would have clocked up nearly 100 games in the twos,” he continued.
“It’s nice to be a survivor.

“I’m certainly no Daniel Schell – taking those big marks – and exciting the crowd.  

“Really (his 150th) it’s just another game and I’m happy to contribute.

“Last year (I felt) I let the side down – having to make the tough decision about work – it caused massive stress.

“Playing in Grand Finals is what football is all about.”

And that he has done a lot of that by any player’s standards.

Sibenaler started off with a couple of defeats in the 2001 reserves season decider, and then was a member of that day to forget in 2002, when the Double Blues, started quickly and grabbed the crown.

Then from 2003 he enjoyed the first of the triple premierships against West, followed by the "back-to-back" '04-'05 wins against the Eagles.

After the hiccup in ’06, he was a key player in the 2007 flag against North. Many fans would vividly remember his fantastic tackle on Nick Gill early in the game that set the tone of the match.

He also enjoyed the fruits of flag winning success in 2008-09-10, in a special group of SANFL league footballers with seven premierships’.

Wearing the No. 37 jumper, Sibenaler has had Roy Laird coach him at both senior and reserves level and also appreciated the break 2001 premiership coach Alistair Clarkson gave him as well. 

Yves Sibenaler is a role model for the next generation of footballers at Central District to look up too.   

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