Past Players, U18 TAC Cup Squad

Story thanks to Star Weekly

Northern Knights trainer Dom Conte has been recognised for his contribution to the TAC Cup club.

He was the first person recognised as part of the celebrations for the competition’s 25th ­year birthday.

Each TAC Cup club will recognise a local legend as part of the celebrations, while former players will return to the club to talk about their experiences at the Towards Zero Player Night.

Conte, a trainer at the Knights, hasn’t missed a training session for 14 years.

He started with the Knights in 2003 and was awarded life membership at the club in 2012. He is also renowned for his massage skills.

His work as a trainer is a long way from day job.

“I’m a chef by trade,” he said.

“I decided to do a diploma in massage and then spent three years at Port Melbourne as a trainer.

“I had a year off and then joined the Knights. The rest is history.”

Conte said the club had become his second home and family.

“We miss each other in the offseason,” he said.

Despite being in his 14th year at the Knights, Conte has no plans to step back.

“I hope to keep going until my legs can’t carry me. Then I’ll use a wheelchair,” he said.

“I’m 51. I still have at least another 30 years left of running.”

Carlton ruckman Matthew Kreuzer was on hand on Thursday night to help recognise Conte and speak to the current playing group.

Kreuzer was taken at pick 1 in 2007 after playing with the Northern Knights.

Conte said Kreuzer was up there with the best players he had seen at the Knights.

“To see him again was fantastic,” Conte said.

“Matthew Kreuzer, Trent Cotchin, Michael Hurley and David Zaharakis are all up there as the best players.

“I’d say Kreuzer and Cotchin are the best.”

TAC CEO Joe Calafiore said the return of role models like Kreuzer reinforced how TAC Cup players had the

opportunity to show leadership on and off the field.

“All TAC Cup players know how important it is to stand together as a team,” he said.

“We know young Victorians are among the most likely to be hurt on our roads and that’s why our partnership with AFL Victoria and the TAC Cup clubs is so valuable ­ it enables us to reach out directly to young people and empower them to become positive role models.”

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