Sea­son cel­e­brates play­ers’ mile­stones

Pilbara News - - Sport - Ali­cia Per­era and Tay­lar Amonini

The 2017 North Pil­bara Foot­ball League sea­son has in­cluded no short­age of mile­stones with a num­ber of play­ers cel­e­brat­ing any­where from their 100th to 300th games.

Sev­eral of the league’s six clubs have this year ac­knowl­edged long-term play­ers who through years of com­mit­ment to their teams have shown they not only have a love for the game, but also for their lo­cal club.

Chief among those is Wick­ham Wolves’ Richie Helse­wood, who be­came only the sec­ond player in the NPFL’s his­tory to make it to 300 games last round, play­ing his mile­stone match in the re­serves side against the Dampier Sharks.

Helse­wood started play­ing ju­nior foot­ball for the Roe­bourne Mag­pies while at school and has since gone on to play, coach and men­tor young play­ers for two gen­er­a­tions.

He has also been a com­mit­tee mem­ber and vol­un­teer around the club.

Wolves pres­i­dent Paul Lott said Helse­wood had made a ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion to the club dur­ing his long-term ser­vice and was an in­spi­ra­tion for a lot of the club’s young play­ers.

“He’s been not only a player, he’s been a coach, for re­serves and ju­niors, over the years and been on the com­mit­tee,” he said.

“He had three years off in be­tween that when his fam­ily was young, so he prob­a­bly could have played more.

“When play­ers see that Richie’s played 300 games they go ‘wow’, and I sup­pose a lot of them, es­pe­cially the younger ones, want to be around those kinds of peo­ple be­cause it just shows you their love for foot­ball, and he has charisma around the club as well.”

NPFL reg­is­trar Peta Mott said 300 games was a rare mile­stone for the league.

“With 300 games for the NPFL over 30 years he is one of only two who has reached this mark and the NPFL con­grat­u­late Richie on his achieve­ment,” she said.

Kar­ratha Fal­cons have had sev­eral play­ers cel­e­brate their 100th-200th games this sea­son.

Brett McCor­mack and Michael For­manczyk ran out on the field for their 200th games ear­lier this sea­son, mark­ing years of com­mit­ment to the Kar­ratha side.

McCor­mack, a long-term Fal­cons com­mit­tee mem­ber, man­ager and vol­un­teer, also an­nounced his im­me­di­ate re­tire­ment at the end of last week’s round 13 game.

Michael Bunt­ing and Bien Van Le also cel­e­brated their 150th and 100th games, re­spec­tively, for the Fal­cons this sea­son.

As well as cel­e­brat­ing a club mile­stone of 50 years in op­er­a­tion last month, the Port Hed­land Rovers marked a 200th game mile­stone for player Leon Mon­aghan — who now holds the record for most games at the club — and 100 games for player Chris Sims.

Sims, who cel­e­brated the land­mark last round, said he was a diehard foot­ball player who had joined the Rovers upon mov­ing to the Pil­bara six years ago.

“I think I’d played about 80 games for Mount Law­ley be­fore mov­ing up here 2011 and I’ve been Rovers since 2011, which is where I reached 100,” he said.

“We only play 15 games a year so it’s a lot harder to get mile­stones up in the Pil­bara.”

He said play­ing for the Rovers had done a lot to shape his time in Hed­land. “I don’t think I would have been able to stay long without the footy club and the boys there, it’s what re­ally makes the town feel like home,” he said.

The Dampier Sharks and Kar­ratha Kats each cel­e­brated a hand­ful of 50-game mile­stone play­ers for 2017 who will be ac­knowl­edged at the clubs’ up­com­ing pre­sen­ta­tion nights.

Pic­tures: Peta Mott

Fal­cons’ Brett McCor­mack cel­e­brated his 200th game with the club ear­lier this sea­son.

Pic­ture: Wick­ham Wolves Foot­ball Club

Wick­ham Wolves' 300-gamer Richie Helse­wood.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.