Soape Kavaliku is one of the most experienced, and feared, props running around in the Auckland competition.
After several seasons with Mt Albert, the hulking forward has been a key figure for Glenora as they have developed into a Premiership force. Here’s our chat with Soape on 2018 and what’s next.
Obviously it was disappointing to go down in the final, but what we achieved overall as a club this year compared to last year, it was a big step. Overall we did well, but it’s always disappointing when you don’t get that big trophy at the end
You said at the start of the season that you wanted the club to go to the next level. Do you still feel like you achieved that?
Yeah, totally. You just need to take a look at our reserves, who were getting hidings last year, struggling for numbers, and this year won it. I think after the premier success of last year a few guys came in. They realised the culture we had and wanted to be part of it. They will continue next year and everyone will know we aren’t just about what goes on on the field, but off it too. To win the Kiwi Shield as Auckland’s best premier club was a credit to the whole club.
You’ve spent a few years at Glenora now. How are you enjoying the change of scenery?
It’s a little different to when I was at Mt Albert, and I was I guess a marquee player with a few other guys, and there was a high expectation to deliver results. At Glenora I have had some say in how the team should be moulded, and I felt that worked really well.
I am probably near the end of my Fox career and I am able to delegate some of the jobs at this point of my career. I was a young guy at Otahuhu, listening to everyone and doing what I was told, then I moved to Mt Albert when they were the pinnacle of league, and I had to do what I was told there. Now I have that experience, I can try and mentor others, it’s a role where I can focus on my job and helping others.
So you’re definitely going around again in 2019?
I have got a lot of work to do in the pre-season, but yeah, I didn’t like the way the season finished this year. If I am going to hang the boots up I’d like to do it on a winning note. I’m not sure I would have retired even if we had won – I would have wanted to go for the three-peat with Glenora.
And post-playing, who you have plans to stay in the game?
I wouldn’t mind getting into a bit of reffing. I will be involved in something to do with the game. Reffing or coaching, whatever opportunity I get.