NOT only was last Saturday’s league football match the final game of the home-and-away season for Denmark-Walpole Magpies, it was also the swansong for David ‘Macca’ MacDonald, who has been a club stalwart and much-admired player for ten years. He is still coming back from a recent injury, and when asked prior to Saturday’s game how he was feeling, replied, “My back is still a bit sore but I am playing. This is my last game.”
Dave joined the club in 2009 when he brought to Denmark a natural ability and football knowledge that made the players around him look and feel good. He was an integral member of the 2010 premiership side. “Macca played as he trained – hard,” said the captain-coach of that side, James McRae. “He was truly inspirational on the field and never left anything out there – a great role model for the other players.” Great Southern Football League president Joe Burton said that in 2010 Macca would have won the league’s fairest and best award, the Kleeman Medal, had he not been reported. According to Macca the incident was in a game against Railways, whose ruckman kicked Magpie Dave Richardson in the face when he was on the ground. Macca took exception and retaliated on behalf of his mate. “It was perhaps not the right thing to do, but the ruckman’s act was brutal,” Macca said.
David grew up in Tatura, a small country town near Shepparton in Victoria. He played junior football there but did not nominate for the AFL draft because he said he lacked confidence and did not see football as a career. “Footy is for fun,” he said. His first retirement from football was around 2013 – according to him – due to work and family commitments. He was coaxed out of retirement by good mate and league side co-coach, Simon Barker. It was a very popular decision. “It was really great to have Macca back playing this year,” Magpies captain and co-coach of the league side Ryan Gearth said. “He is a very positive influence on the whole team.” Club president Kim Barrow said he hoped that Macca would stay involved in a non-playing capacity, as his experience was valuable for the growth of the club.