For Graeme Board, the Dubbo Kangaroos has been much more than a rugby club.
The Roos have helped the club stalwart through some incredibly tough times and while he has stepped down as president, it will continue to be a big part of his life.
Board’s 18-year reign as president came to an end at the club’s recent annual general meeting, with mate and another man who bleeds blue and red, Gerald Webster, taking on the top job.
The change brings an end a period in Roos history which saw great development made on and off the field.
Board highlighted work commitments as a major reason behind his decision, weekends in the real estate industry are a busy time, but he’s still likely to be around No. 1 Oval on a Saturday afternoon.
“I’ll still be there and I’ll still be fairly involved,” he said.
“There might just be a bit more red win drunk up in the clubhouse.”
The game being played may be the same, but Board admits rugby in the region now is barely recognisable from what was being played when he first took on the top job.
Playing style, competition structure, and commitment of players is all vastly different now but through all that the Roos have been a constant in Board’s life.
It’s pretty easy for the life member to pick his highlights of the past 18 years, as well.
“Getting the club into a strong financial position is one of the most pleasing things,” he said.
“That was done through patience and through trying to look after our members. The other highlight is winning four first grade premierships.
“The three in a row (between 2006-08) was pretty special and I was going through cancer treatment at that time so it was a pretty important thing in my life.”
The club’s current leaders recently unveiled a strategic plan to help the Roos continue to build and develop in the coming years.
Something like that was just what Board did when he took over and a colts premiership in his first season at the helm signalled the start of a successful era.
Webster, along with director of rugby Beau Robinson, are tasked with taking the club to a new level and Board has no doubt they’re capable of doing just that after planning his retirement from the top job for some time.
“Gerald is the right man for the job. He’s got plenty of experience and knowledge,” he said.
“I said to him he was the man to do it. We discussed it 12 months ago and I’m really pleased he wanted to do it.
“He’s been part of the club probably longer than I have but there’s Beau there as well and a lot of young blokes. After 18 years my ideas are probably old and decrepit.”
The man to everyone as ‘Boardy’ might think his time has past but Robinson said the impact he made on the club can’t be measured.
“He’s been bloody excellent. We’ve got to replace a legend of the club and great clubman,” the former Super Rugby title winner said.
“But the fact he’s been replaced by Gerald Webster shows the quality of people we’ve got involved with the club.
“There would be a lot of clubs envious to have blokes like that.”