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Well, we’re here again. Summer’s done and dusted and we’re on the eve of another rugby season! I love this time of year- the days are sunny, the air’s fresh and there’s always so much hope and excitement about the possibilities ahead of us.
It feels like yesterday was the 2017 grand final at North Sydney Oval. There was a fairly surreal energy leading into that day… 1st and 4th grade, both playing for premiership glory in our very own backyard.
I was part of the 4th-grade team and despite our best efforts, our hopes were dashed by Sydney Uni that morning. It’s a hard pill to swallow when you get so close to the trophy, but I couldn’t have been prouder of everyone sitting in that shed afterward.
It’s a bit of a stereotype, but we’re actually really lucky to play with a team of such close friends. Some of us have known each other since we were running around as kids for Mosman and Norths juniors. We’re not called the ‘Brotherhood’ for nothing.
Putting our disappointment aside, our spirits were quickly lifted by the fact that our mates in 1st grade had their chance to achieve back-to-back Shute Shield premierships. Those who were at the Union beforehand should be able to recall the contagious energy before the game. A sea of supporters dressed in red and black ambled out of our sponsor’s doors prior to kick-off, singing and strolling down Ridge St. I still remember the noise as we neared North Sydney Oval… 20,000 people screaming, a chopper flying ahead, fans trying desperately to squeeze into whatever square inch was available… it was crazy. You had to pinch yourself- the eyes of rugby fans all across Australia were on us. “Can Norths do it again?” This was as big as it gets in club rugby.
Despite the results, that day all current and ex-players, coaches, managers, volunteers, families, friends and supporters alike partied well into the night to celebrate another fantastic year for Norths.
In a sense, 2018 is the start of a new chapter for the club. We have new coaches and players across the board, all eager to write their names in the Norths history books. Our colts are raw and hungry for success- Smithy and Porty will have them hardened after a tough pre-season and with a bit of belief, the results will definitely come this year.
4th grade will be back, doing our thing and having a few laughs along the way. We may have a pretty relaxed persona as a team but we expect to win every time we run out onto the field. We haven’t lost a game at Bon Andrews in four years and we have no intention of changing that- We want to bring Henderson back home.
3rd and 2nd grades both have their challenges and it’s a been a while between trophies. It’s difficult for the middle grades, as with injuries there’s always guys coming and going between the teams. Coming into this year, there’s a healthy balance of seasoned veterans and young guns in this group so I’m excited to see what they can achieve.
And finally, not much needs to be said about our 1st-grade team… They’ll be looking to get their hands on the Shute Shield once again. It’s going to be a hell of an opening clash with Warringah!
I implore all supporters to get out to as many games as possible this season. There are few better places to be than North Sydney Oval, watching our boys fighting it out on a Saturday. I love this club and I’m very passionate about what it stands for. We haven’t always experienced the kind of success we’ve had in recent years, so it makes times like this all the more special. The quality of character in the current playing group, from colts to grade, is exceptional and I have no doubt that we will have teams playing for premierships at the pointy end of this season.
Fortune favours the bold!
See you all out there.
Northern Suburbs Club Captain