The Howick Hornets are on fire in 2019, with the club performing well and the premier team flying high in the Fox. We chat to club captain and co-chair Denie Allan about how it’s all happened.
The trophy cabinet at Paparoa Park is overflowing right now, with the ARLNines, Best and Fairest and Roope Rooster in Howick’s possession. How do you assess how things are going this year?
I am very proud. The whole senior playing group and management are onboard with what we are doing. It all started at the end of last year with a good pre-season, and we knew something good was going to happen.
You won the Roope Rooster off Mt Albert in May, how long had it been since the club held that trophy?
I think it was in 2012. We had a pretty good playing group back then, off the back of us winning the Fox the previous year.
We didn’t hold it for very long… it’s a hard thing to do to keep it.
You’ve suffered heartbreaking major semi-final defeats in the last two seasons. How much of a driving factor is it to make a Fox final again?
There’s a bunch of players sitting on 100 games or more at our club, and they have got a real hunger and burning desire to win it.
We met at the start of the year and discussed what we needed to do to try and win it. We would see it as proof of the work that’s been put in.
You’ve got a committee and management team who all seem to be signing to the same tune right now, what does that come down to?
For me it’s about inclusiveness and that we are all focussed on the club as a whole. There’s more to a club than just the senior teams and I have always been about the junior grades, which comes from being a coach and having three boys playing.
Bruce the co-chair brings experience and I really appreciate that, because he has a different perspective. We have really well run meetings due to Bruce, and we all meet regularly to keep on top of things. Everyone understands their role and works hard to support each other.
Howick have made a real effort to create a gamely experience at Fox games, what’s the thinking behind that?
The game isn’t supported as well as it used to be in some ways. But our game is good entertainment, so why not encourage people to get in and support it?
We rely heavily on sponsors and want them to enjoy themselves when they come to the game, but they are not all rugby league people, and some of them have never been involved at all, so we want to make that as much fun as we can.