You could never lose the young Corey Enright in his hometown of Kimba, a tiny town on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. 

All you had to do was listen out for the bouncing footy. A constant companion, the sound of leather hitting the road was unmistakable. 

As the story goes, unfortunately for the Sydney Swans, years later an exhausted recruiter did just that. 

Having flown to Adelaide via Melbourne, before hiring a car for the five hour drive to Kimba only to be told that the Tigers would be playing in Buckleboo, other hours drive up a dirt road, he couldn’t keep his eyes open. 

Garry Enright, Corey’s Dad, recalled the story to the Herald Sun on the eve of his son’s 300th game. 

“We drove all the way out there and by halftime of the game the poor bloke was asleep in the car, so he didn’t get to see much of Corey. He was absolutely exhausted. Unfortunately for him, Corey just happened to kick about 10 goals from the wing that day in the seniors.”

But the Swans loss was the Cats gain when Stephen Wells, Geelong’s recruiting manager, swooped on the skinny kid from Kimba with the 47th pick in the 1999 draft. 

It was the same draft that netted fellow premiership stars Joel Corey (pick 8), Paul Chapman (31), and Cameron Ling (38), the Cats loaded with picks after the then controversial trade of Leigh Colbert to North Melbourne. 

Enright wouldn’t get a game in his first year at Geelong, but didn’t miss many after that, going on to break Ian Nankervis’ games record of 325 games, and retire on 332 in 2016. 

The stats alone are remarkable. 

He was just the sixth player in Geelong history to join the 300 club, a three-time premiership player, a six-time All-Australian, a two-time Carji Medallist, and averaged over 20 touches a game for 11 years straight. And now, he is a legend of the Geelong Football Club. 

It’s a list that is even more impressive when you consider the era he played in. 

His two best and fairests both came in premiership years. Something only the likes of Bartlett, Dunstall, Black, Voss, and Ablett Jr. have been able to do more than once. 

But Enright was more to the Geelong Football Club than that stats sheet can tell us. 

Premiership teammate Harry Taylor once described him as Geelong’s sunrise: Predictable, dependable, and full of warmth from a big heart. 

Steve Johnson said he was a player you could completely trust on the field:

“As a forward, there are times when you look up the field and realise you have hung your backs out to dry,” he told The Age.

“Boris has so often been the one out in space trying to mind the most dangerous small forwards, but you had so much faith in him to win the ball back even when it seemed impossible.”

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Enright becomes Geelong's 27th Legend

Former teammates share what makes Corey Enright a legend of the club on and off the field.

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Cam Mooney was more direct: “He is everything you want in a footballer. The best small-medium defender the game has probably ever seen.”

But there were layers to Enright that fans who remember fondly the trademark high ball drop may not be so familiar with. He was humble – he reportedly introduced himself to future wife Renee as a plumber, not as it were, a champion footballer. 

Off the field, he struck the perfect balance. 

No one celebrated a win quite like Enright, and he was a ringleader of the annual Geelong Mad Monday costume parade. 

The dress-ups, however, were not a once a year thing. He and then housemate Max Rooke could often be found lounging about their share house wearing masks of Bill Clinton, Mick Jagger, and of course, Boris being Boris, former Russian president Boris Yeltsin. The list apparently goes on.

According to Matthew Scarlett, no one was allowed to leave the Enright-Rooke household without donning a mask for a polaroid and place on the wall. 

All of that while epitomising the excellence that the Geelong Football Club become known for. 

But if you ask Enright himself, the mix isn’t that complicated. 

“There’s no secret, just a lot of hard work,” he said. 

“We’ve had some good players around me as a team and to work at a great club like Geelong makes it a little easier.

“You’ve got to have the energy; you’ve got have the fight and you’ve got to be competitive, and I think I’ve got all those three things.”

He has all those things among many, and now he has a place alongside his great mate Matty Scarlett as a Legend.