Three flags in four years for top Trafalgar side

Chris Kyriacou with his premiership guernsey and winning medallions.

Chris Kyriacou with his premiership guernsey and winning medallions.

Country football clubs can provide a lot for their members, supporters and players, but for Chris Kyriacou, it meant a fresh start and a new beginning, one that would lead to three flags in four years and a lifetime of friendship.
Kyriacou grew up in Moe and played his junior football for his hometown club. He moved into the thirds side for the Moe Lions, before making his senior debut, but something just didn’t feel right.
He felt his enjoyment for the game fading away. He’d played nearly 50 senior games for the Lions side, but at the end of 2005 was ready to walk away from the game.
“I was struggling at Moe. I had high expectations from the senior coach since I’d been involved in the Gippsland Power system, so the expectations were that I was going to go really well. I lost confidence in myself and wasn’t enjoying it, I was ready to step away for a year,” he said.
Then, he got a call from Trafalgar. They had been pestering Kyriacou to come down to a training session over the off season and finally, he gave in and accepted.
He joined the Bloods in 2006 and viewed it as a fresh start, one he could build on without the pressure of previous seasons on his back.
“I went to Traf with no expectations and had to earn my stripes again. I wasn’t a paid player, so I just got to be one of the boys and help mould a culture. It was a really young group at the time, but there was a really good feeling, it was mostly local boys, so the town really got behind us,” he said.
Kyriacou had finally found his love for the game again, which he said came back after a positional change.
“Dave Dawson was a really big influence for me early, he put trust in me and let me play my footy. I played midfield, but he put me back on the half back flank which allowed me to get my confidence back. That year, as a team, we were all starting to gel and we were genuine friends outside of the club too,” he said.
By 2008, Kyriacou was the captain of the side, leading a young team which had excelled rapidly, making it to the Mid Gippsland grand final to face an experienced Yinnar side.
Trafalgar hadn’t won a flag for 13 years and as a young side, were chomping at the bit to get out there, which Kyriacou said looking back, may have been their downfall.
“We beat Yinnar in the semi-final, I think we peaked too early though, we got ahead of ourselves. The biggest lesson was the pre grand final warm up. Everything is delayed, so I remember some of our players warming up in the thirds, a full two hours before our game. We used too much energy and it cost us,” he said.
Traf would go down to Yinnar, but the side took it as a positive, they were matching it with the best as a very young inexperienced side.
2009 saw Mat Robertson arrive at the club as an assistant coach. The big bodied forward who had experience with the Casey Scorpions was exactly what Trafalgar were crying out for, some physicality in the contest and a genuine marking target.
“I genuinely believe that if we had Mat in 2008, we would have won that final,” Kyriacou said.

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