Harbs' Rant - March 2014
Well it has been a solid 4 months since my last edition and I've got no idea where the time went. We have been training as hard as ever on the training track and with such a new, young and enthused group we are heading in the right direction to start the season in 2014 on April 5th against the Eagles.
Plenty of younger players such as Patrick White, Joel Griffiths, Joey Brown and Dylan Weaver continue to impress on the training track pushing the senior players to their limits in the fitness stakes.
With the season just around the corner it is the perfect opportunity to introduce everyone to our new recruits. All of them are quality people and have fit in so well into the football club:
# 4 Murray ‘Muz’ Stephenson – Muz hails from the country NSW town of Coolamon. He is coming off a premiership in the Riverina Footy League, a Best and Fairest and League Representative honours in 2013. Muz is a ripper bloke even though he comes from myself, Sammy Milne and Jacob Olsson’s old club - the mighty Ganmain Grong-Grong Matong Lions. The Lions are cross-town rivals with the Coolamon Grasshoppers and just for a bit of “Pub Ammo” Paul Thomas won the U9’s Best and Fairest at Coolamon whilst his dad Jamie Thomas was coaching there in the early 90’s! Muz has settled in well with his partner Jess and will hold down a key defensive post in 2014. Already he has drawn comparisons to past premiership players Brian Haraida and Yves Sibenaler.
# 5 Tim ‘Macca’ McIntyre – Timmy has been an excellent pick up for us and a clear standout with his fitness and professionalism over the pre-season. He will be cherry ripe for round 1 after just nicking his hamstring at training. Look for Macca to spend a lot of time in the midfield and run riot like the last number 5 – ‘Nutta’ Callinan!
# 8 Jacob ‘Gilbs’ Gillbee – ‘Gilbs’ is a very smooth mover and will provide numerous headaches up forward and through the midfield this year. He is a very skillful player and also doesn’t mind having a punt. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying this but I think the reason he played so well in the first trial game is because he was so up and about after calmly profiting over 2,000 clams before we ran out to play thanks to some handy tips at Randwick and Bendigo!
# 9 Ben ‘ Greg’ Mabon – Big ‘Greg’ is another quality big man that is striving to get the best out of himself in 2014. Benny is a very fun man and has some quality stories about his times at North that leave the boys in stitches! He should be back playing in the 2nd Trial and be raring to go by round 1. He is another country NSW product from Hay, NSW so if any supporters are driving through Hay you might see the welcome sign say ‘Welcome to Hay – the home of Ben Mabon’.
# 12 Jacob ‘Olso’ Olsson – This big fella is an ex-teammate of myself and Sammy Milne from the mighty Ganmain Grong-Grong Matong Lions. We tried to get ‘Olso’ a few years ago but he stayed in country NSW to finish his electrician apprenticeship. He is a man mountain and a very good tap ruckman trying to better himself at a higher standard of footy and has settled in well with his partner Sal which is fantastic for us. ‘Olso’ has played in 3 premierships at the Lions and is also the reigning Best and Fairest winner at Ganmain. The last game that Coolamon and Ganmain played against each other ‘Olso’ went forward and kicked 4 snags on ‘Muzza’ Stephenson!
# 18 Johann ‘Yoey’ Wagner – ‘Yoey’ is a remarkable talent that has been plucked from Port Lincoln after an 80+ goal kicking premiership year. He is easily the quickest player in the squad now and a number of people might remember the talk of the country full forward who kicked 8 snags in the SA v WA match in the middle of 2013 – this is the man that did it! He will become a fan favourite and fit into our line-up in very well!
# 20 Justin ‘Hosko’ Hoskin – ‘Hosko’ has dominated pre-season training impressing everyone with his quick decision making and precise skills. He will spend a majority of the time rotating through the backline and midfield and was one of our better players in the first trial game. A great pick up from the PAFC and is sure to have a great year in the red, white and blue.
# 32 Jamie ‘Macca’ McIntyre – ‘Macca’ has been a great pick up from the Magpies for 2014. Still very young – ‘Macca’ is a key defender that is very unassuming. The whole squad has been impressed by his attack on the football and man in trial games and he reads the play exceptionally well. For those that missed the internal trial game – ‘Macca’ v ‘Yoey’ was an absolute highlight all game with outstanding attack v defense that people would pay to watch again!
# 37 Bryce ‘Retz’ Retzlaff – The tattooed warrior is an absolute gun that will straighten us up in a key forward role in 2014. Fresh off winning a VFL flag with Box Hill Hawks in 2013 – ‘Retz’ is living with ‘Yoey’ Wagner just so they can form an even better understanding up forward! (not really that is just the way the living arrangements worked out!). ‘Retz’ is a good mate of Tommy Collier where they spent numerous years on the Brisbane Lions AFL list.
# 52 Brent ‘Redness’ Rose – ‘Rosey’ is another recruit from Broken Hill, NSW. He is originally from Heath Hopwood territory, Narrandera, NSW. ‘Rosey’ has plenty of pace and nouse around the ball. Look for him to play off half-Back and through the wings providing plenty of dash through the middle of the paddock!
Other new recruits (that you may already have seen in a doggies Guernsey in years gone past) that have been picked up from local country leagues that have impressed and you will see plenty of action from are Adam ‘Cuzzy’ Cullen Gaza FC, Tyson ‘Tys’ Gordon from Walpeup Underbool FC, Nathan ‘Bartschy’ Bartsch from South Gawler FC, Josh ‘Eddie Betts/Wizard’ Wittwer from Gepps Cross FC, Kaine ‘Kano’ Bowley from Nth Adelaide U18’s, Joel ‘Griffo’ Griffiths from the Riverland is the son of former CHB Craig Griffiths who played in the late 80’s, Andrew Hardiman from Two Wells FC and Brett ‘Abandoman’ Ancell from Birdwood FC.
There are also plenty of underage players that have been very impressive that will see plenty of reserves action in 2014. They include; Joel ‘Fozzy’ Foster, Darcy ‘Prawns’ Hamon, Josh ‘Russ’ Russo, Dylan ‘Cool Cat’ Weaver, Reece ‘Hock’ Hocking, Dom ‘Skills to pay the bills’ Costanzo, Jordan ‘Jordy’ Furnell, Connor ‘Macca’ McLean (who is an absolute jet at cricket) and Josh ‘Banksy’ Banks.
As always with the Rant a few of the players don’t get away with much! As always the list seems to start with the ‘Day of Our Lives’ type relationship that our vice skippers have:
• Kyle ‘Fat Boy/Fossil’ Jenner and Trent ‘I’m old now so I can be grumpy’ Goodrem’s personal relationship is as you guessed it - always in the same place, purely Love/Hate. On learning that Trent would be playing in the 1st Trial game and ‘Alfie’ wouldn’t be because of ‘being rested’ – Trent calmly proceeded to let Alfie know he may as well retire and he is getting too old.
• Roy ‘Supercoach’ Laird has been dobbed in by none other than Kris ‘Wedge’ Grant our fearless CEO from an incident in the coaching box after the first trial. Roy put the phone to his ear and tried to talk to our runner on the phone – he was said to say ‘hello… hello… hello… HELLO! – why won’t this bloody thing work!’ until Kris calmly pointed out to Roy that he was in fact talking into the actual base of the phone where the phone sits! Talk about not being switched on! I probably shouldn’t be saying this because if Roy sees this article I will be in strife, but Kris told me to say it so I’m only a messenger and can’t get in trouble… watch this space though
• One of our officials Adam ‘Slab’ Knowles tied the knot on the weekend with his partner Vicki – Knowlesy has been a long term servant of the football club and will be from years to come. Well done Knowlesy from everyone at the footy club!
• Paul ‘Skipper’ Thomas and his partner Rach have welcomed in little Archer Thomas into the world a few weeks ago. Both Rach and Archie are doing well! The only issue is last week my baby-sitting duties of Thommo’s other son, Austin were apparently ‘poor and irresponsible’ – I took Aussie up to the officials room to get him a few jelly beans that ended up being a pocket full and the little whipper was buzzing off the walls!
Here are another four ‘get to know your dogs’ profiles:
# 59 Josh ‘Eddie Betts’ Wittwer – It is great to have the 2012 Reserves premiership skipper back in doggies colours after leaving in 2013 to get settled with his new baby and now fiancé’ Skye! One of my good mates at the club, ‘Witts’ is never short of giving advice or cheek on the training track but it came back to bite him at Caleb Edmeads 21st on the river. The ‘confident’ ‘Witts’ thought he was destined to be a ‘professional’ wake boarder after seeing a number of the boys easily get up and fang around behind the boat. In true Wittsy fashion, he strapped on the wake board and proceeded to putt along 100m down the river, falling every time the boat picked up speed! I was sitting on the bank with a few of the boys and all we could here every time he slammed into the river was an expletive!
# 26 Sam ‘Monty Burns’ Hanna – ‘Monty’ (we call him Monty because he has terrible posture just like Monty Burns off the Simpsons) is one of the most naturally talented footballers I’ve seen and is very graceful on both sides of his body. He has taken the ‘next step’ in his development and confidence and would not look out of place playing league footy in 2014. The dirt I have on ‘Mont’ is that after turning up late to the players annual ‘Double Denim’ bonding session, we were all treated to a fantastic story that has changed at least 6 times since a month ago. Long story short is that the first story involved ‘Monty’ chipping his front tooth while wicket-keeping – the latest and true story is that he was wrestling in the backyard against his brother and former player Ben ‘Digger’ Hanna before cricket because ‘Monty’ was bagging ‘Digger’ about his missing tooth!
# 49 Jarrod ‘Snapchat’ Traynor – Another one of the young breed that found his feet last year and has really developed his body size and playing ability over the pre-season yet again. Has a great read on the game and a great kick on both sides of the body. The issue with ‘JT’ is that he thinks he is the ultimate punter when it comes to the horses. The amount of times I’ve heard him carry on about ‘She’s a sure thing’, ‘it just wins’, ‘back it now because the odds will come flying in’ or his favourite ‘it is second up after a spell it just has to win’ is getting beyond a joke! In his defence he does have ‘sound’ tips but they are not as good as the new kid on the block Jacob Gillbee.
# 58 Anthony ‘Gym Junkie’ Simpson – Big Simmo hasn’t had any luck of late in the injury department but his attitude is fantastic and always puts a smile on the boy’s faces down in the rehab group. He consistently dances around like an absolute dropkick listening to ‘beats’ that apparently get played in nightclubs these days. His latest rehab genius trick is bringing in one of the balls that bounce well off water called a ‘Waboba’ and gathering a little crew of players and consistently hitting ‘solid run a ball 100’s’’ in the recovery pool!
We are also having a FINES SYSTEM going again this year for the players. Any indiscretion that may happen at training, in the change rooms or on game day could attract a fine (e.g. A ball to the head, tripping over) so if you see any funny things that happen on the footy field make sure you let us know on the bulldog forum so we can fine the boys the hefty fee of $2! We raised over $1500 that was put towards a player’s day last year!
Well that is all we have time for so hopefully you enjoyed reading the novel of a rant for this edition! We hope to see many of you out in numbers at games this year and look forward to having a bevvy with you all at the after match presentations!