MANY people who know Anthony Ball will automatically think of the Elders agent with an intimate knowledge of the industry, particularly in the northern parts of the state.
However, before he was knocking down record-selling bulls and calling bids at some of the country's biggest sales, he was breaking tackles and scoring tries on some of the grandest stages.
As a 17-year-old, his rugby league pursuits took him to the big smoke of Brisbane, where he played what was recently known as the under-20 cup before moving onto what is now considered the Queensland Cup.
However, it was achievements in country footy that rank highest among Anthony Ball's highlights.
"My brother Darren and I played for the Malanda Eels in the first senior side the club had fielded in something like 30 years," he said.
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"What was even more special than that was going on to win a couple of premierships, the first of which was the club's first senior title in something like 50 or 60 years.
"During that time of about eight or nine years with the Eels, we played in five grand finals, which was a lot of fun.
"I always loved my footy and while it was great playing in the city, playing in the bush was really the highlight for me."
Those years of footballing success remain etched in Mr Ball's memory, particularly because he helped lead the side from the edges.
"Believe it or not I actually played my best footy on the wing and as a centre," he said.
"I didn't always look like a paw paw and that is just the way life goes, but it really was a lot of fun and something I'll look back on fondly."
Growing up on his family's Malanda dairy property, his love of that industry took him south and onto fresh sporting pursuits.
"I spent one year working on a property at Girgarre in the Goulburn Valley and played a season of aussie rules with the Girgarre Kangaroos," he said.
"I'm a proud Queenslander but I have to say those Victorians do country footy really well in that the atmosphere you get to play in front of every week is so hard to beat.
"You felt like you were playing for the North Melbourne Kangaroos and not the Girgarre Kangaroos because the atmosphere was just so good and for a small community like that to be able to do that was really special."
As well as an aspiring rugby league player, Mr Ball was also a keen handler on the state's dairy and cattle showing circuits, which led him to become the first North Queensland-based representative to be named the state's Rural Ambassador winner in 2015.
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