The Hornets have a had another successful year on and off the field. The season may not have been as long as we had hoped but there were plenty of positives to take out of it.
Starting with last night at the Auckland AFL Best & Fairest awards the Hornets had a great showing. The first award of the night was the Best First Year player which Hornets Kevin Crowe won last year. The trophy will be kept in the Hornets cabinet for another year with Harley Jenkins taking out the award against some stiff competition. Harley has been a influential player on the field being able to be played both up the field in the forwards and floating down the back in defence. He has picked up the game incredibly quickly and will look to further develop his skills over the off season to take his game to the next level in 2019.
The next award last night was to the Volunteer of the Year award. Last year the Hornets narrowly missed out on this award but with the superhuman effort put in the by the one and only Paul "Taco" Millar the award was locked away. Paul is the most deserving of this award for all his time and effort he has put into the club over the last few seasons. This year Paul was involved with every single event organised by the Hornets from the Golf day through to preseason camp to the themed parties and would turn up to every training and run waters at each game travelling all the way from Bombay. Well done Paul.
The golden boot award and coaches award were picked up by Mt Roskill and were deserving for the season they have had this year compared to last year.
The biggest award of the night was the Best and Fairest as voted by the Umpires from each match over the ten rounds. The Hornets showed up strong in the votes with 11 different people receiving votes over the season. After the 10 rounds and beating a Mt Roskill player by 1 point our very own Jay Green was named Best and Fairest for the Auckland AFL. This is a monumental achievement and well deserving for Jay who has been very consistent for the Hornets this year. Jay managed to win the award missing the last round through injury which shows how well he played throughout the season. Well done Jay for this awesome achievement.
The AAFL awards were polished off with 3 Hornets named in the All Auckland team, Jay Green, Fraser Kessling and Kevin Crowe all named in the squad. Well done!
The season finished with round 10 against Manurewa. A victory against them and if North Shore lost to Waitakere then the Hornets would be playing finals in only their second year! The Hornets did what they could and won the game against Manurewa but unfortunately North Shore beat Waitakere and the Hornets missed out on playing finals by 2 points. The Hornets improved on last years performance with another 2 points on the board and although they did not kick as many points this year their defence locked down the opposition and had less goals kicked against them and their overall points differential was less. This is a positive step for the Hornets as we look to 2019.
The reserves have managed to slip into the finals with one win against North Shore will see them playing finals at QBE stadium next week. Good luck to the reserves tomorrow.
Finally, the Howick Hornets B&F awards are next Saturday (24th) at the Paparoa Park. It would be great if we could have our supporters there to celebrate the achievements of our club this season. Details will be posted on the website this week.
Up the Hornets!
The end of 2018 is jam packed with events with the Hornets. Lock these into your calendar.
2nd November 2018 - Hornets themed party "Hallowhinnies 3"
11th November 2018 - Last home game of the year & Hornets Sponsors day
16th November 2018 - Auckland AFL Best & Fairest Awards - Location and Time TBC
24th November 2018 - Howick Hornets Best & Fairest Awards at Paparoa Park
Howick Hornets Supporters page will be updated with events to keep the information up to date.
The Hornets club had a massive day on Saturday. The club was taking on the defending premiers for the first time in 2018 and was also the clubs Mary Jury day in support of Mary Jury.
Pregame the Hornets held a champagne brunch for the supporters, raising money for Mary Jury. The supporters wined and dined in the club rooms whilst the developments prepared for their match.
The development side took on North Shore's reserve side in a closely fought match. Both sides had experienced line ups which made for a great game of football. The Hornets started strongly; quick centre clearances moved to quick forward 50 entries which converted into goals. The Hornets quick starts saw them lead on the score board at the end of the first half. North Shore looked to their experienced players in the second half and quickly took control of the game. North Shore controlled the ball and with straight hard running were able to find the gaps in the Hornets defence and kicking goals. Eventually North Shore won the game 6 - 4 against a valiant Hornets.
The Premiers were then to face the defending premiers. The Hornets fired up from the purpose of the day and the eager to play in front of the largest home crowd. The premiers ran out in their special edition pink jersey in commemoration of the day. The Hornets were a bit slow to start and a composed North Shore outfit were able to control the middle of the ground. North Shore were able to have repeat entries into the forward line but a spirited defence from the Hornets kept the Tigers within reach. The Hornets were inaccurate in front of goal to begin with converting points on the scoreboards rather than goals.
The second quarter saw the Hornets fire up. Their accuracy in front of goal improved in the second quarter which saw the Hornets close the gap on North Shore. Pressure from the Hornets forward line kept the football up in an attacking position which the allowed Howick to kick some much needed goals. The first half finished with only a few goals difference which left the Hornets with a chance of an upset over the defending premiers.
Regathered after half time Howick looked to stake their claim on the game. Knowing the importance of the third quarter, the win was their for the taking. Unfortunately the Hornets fell off the pace of the North Shore middle and weakened their forward defensive pressure which allowed North Shore to get back on top of the game. The Hornets were clinging on and welcomed the end of the quarter rest.
With the game still in the balance the Hornets gave everything in the last quarter. Running their tanks down to empty they were able tighten up the defence and clear the ball out of their danger zone. They were able to play the ball up the park and into the attacking 50 which they converted into goals. The Hornets always finish strong in the final quarter and it was unfortunate they could not have played their best footy for all four quarters. Had they not fell off during the 3rd quarter they final score may have been different.
Final Score: Howick Hornets 12.9 (81) to North Shore Tigers 15.9 (96)
Goals : Andrew Azzopardi (4), Daniel Bushett (4), Tim Elsley (2), Steph Tabaillou(1), Elliot Bennetts (1)
Post match the Mary Jury day festivities continued. The supporters were treated to a comedian and a musician as the players got ready. After the post match formalities, the main event was the jersey auction. Each of the players jerseys were auctioned off, some players left without a jersey as other players, supporters and even North Shore Tigers all out bid each other. The day was able to raise over $10,000 for Mary Jury which will go towards her alternative treatment.
The day was a great success and is a credit to all those who were involved in organising the day. The Howick Hornets AFL club have always been about family and were privileged to get around the cause that is so close to one of our own.
Thank you to the North Shore Tigers who also supported the day by chartering a bus as transport to and from The Nest, so they were able to join in the festivities. North Shore also purchased a jersey and donated a bottle of spirits which was raffled off with the proceeds going towards the cause. Full credit to North Shore for participating in the day and helping Howick build the sport and club to something more than just a game.
Up the Hornets!!
The Howick Hornets battled last Sunday against the University Blues at Paparoa Park. University came off a huge win against Manurewa and their spirits were high. Howick after coming off a draw with Waitakere also had high spirits but knew it would be tough against a skilled outfit like University.
The Hornets development team kicked off first against a University team stacked with senior players. The development side put in a valiant effort but were unable to quash the University's run and carry. University ended up running away with it in the end putting a big score on the Hornets Development. Some players of note was Dan McCarthy continuing his form from last week and playing well in the forward line and big James Mackinder in his first game back for the club in the ruck.
The Hornets Premier team faced an uphill battle heading into their game. University had shown their hand during the development game and the Hornets knew their game plan. The first quarter was a good battle, the Hornets were able to get into the contest and spoil and clean ball for University. It was during the second quarter where University ran away with it. The Hornets fell off the pace and University ran rampant through the middle of the field to create the overlaps in their forward line. A huge defensive effort by all six back men limited the amount of goals but University kept coming. Right into the second half it was much of the same with University carving through the middle of the field and being in a better position around the ball than the Hornets. The Hornets were unable to get clean entry into the forward 50 and when we did we were unable to translate those opportunities into goals. With the flow of points heading towards the wrong end the Hornets held tough but were unable to reverse their fortunes.
The Hornets lost 1.5 (11) to University 10.15 (75)
The day was a hard defeat but there was a lot to take of it and we will improve from this.
The Hornets hosted Waitakere in a round 1 thriller last Sunday. The weather was grim with a howling wind and periodic rain. This meant the games were going to be played off the ground in a tight contest.
The Hornets Gold kicked the day off at 1pm against the Waitakere Magpies. The Hornets started a little slow with a few new players adjusting to the game. The wet weather made it incredibly difficult to get ball to hand and a lot of the game was played off the ground where the Hornets flourish. Unfortunately the Hornets were down at half time, trailing three goals to two. A big defensive effort from Jono Pearce dried up the magpies goals in the second half. Dan McCarthy enjoyed the opened spaces and used his pace to beat his man and kick a few goals. The Hornets Gold team turned the game on its head with superior fitness and ran away with it in the end winning the game 6-3. Well done on the first up win for the Hornets.
Following the Gold team, the Hornets Blue took to the field. The club had been preparing all preseason for this opening match. The wet weather made it very hard to take clean marks meaning the game play would suit our smaller players. The Hornets played fiercely in the first quarter keeping up with Waitakere. The Hornets worked very well together and rallied around each other when their team mate went off injured in the first quarter. New recruit Steph Tabaillou opened up the Hornets scoring kicking his first goal as a Hornet.
The second quarter the Hornets regathered and played a lot better, playing into the wind. A lot of focused running through broken play opened up the field to the Hornets to keep within one goal of Waitakere. A big defensive effort from Pete Jones on the Magpies key forward meant they were not as dangerous up front as they usually were. Finishing the first half the Hornets were down 2-3 (15) to 3-3 (21).
The second half started with Waitakere coming out of the blocks fast quickly getting on top of Hornets. A strategic positional change, moving Dan Bushett into the centre half forward position paid dividends with Dan kicking a goal with his first touch.
Jay Green provided solidarity in the backline where he had the most possessions for the Hornets. The final quarter saw debutant Jason Roach pick up a few grabs which he was unlucky not to convert into goals. A last minute snap by Elliott Bennetts helped the Hornets secure the draw against the 2017 runners up.
"It was a great first hit out for the team and this has set the platform for our season. We know we can go toe to toe with the 2017 finalists and it is very exciting for what this season could hold" - Coach Ryan White.
The Hornets will take on University Blues next Sunday at Paparoa Park. This will be a huge match with Steph Tabillou playing against his old club.
Up the Hornets!!
Congratulations to Logan Kinnear being named as Captain of the Howick Hornets this year. Logan is an exceptional leader who can lead by example on and off the field. Logan's commitment to the team when playing is second to none and throws everything at it. All players will have the benefit of Logan leading them by example.
Helping Logan in the leadership for 2018 will be Brodyn Bevan & Elliot Bennetts. Brodyn is an experienced player who is a dependable back-men, with a large voice which benefits the players around him. Elliot has gone from strength to strength in the last couple of years and with the experience of playing in the AFLNZ premiership this year he will also lead by example in the forward line. Both these players act with professionalism and are a great addition to the leadership team.
Congratulations to these three players.
Up the Hornets!
The Howick Hornets AFL team have just completed their first ever pre season training camp in Maramarua, Waikato.
It was an overnight camp which saw the Hornets rise early on Saturday to be ready for first bounce at 9am. The first session was a skills based session aiming to fine tune the skills of the handpass, drop punt and tackling. The skills were well executed through intensive drills and got the legs warmed up for what would be the toughest session.
After a short break the boys were eager to get stuck into the next hour and a half session. Paul aka Taco was set to put the boys through his "Taco's Trials" that focused on team building & fitness. Taco's Trials consisted of team relays of tractor tire flipping, fence post sprints and farmer carries. Once the teams were puffing they quickly moved onto a handball drill to emphasis the importance of communication when tired. The grand finale to Taco's Trials was the cards of pain. This involved four teams (two teams sharing a pack of cards each) picking a card and fulfilling the cards suited exercises and the number of reps. The exercises consisted of bear crawls, shuttles, burpees and fence post squats & press. It was safe to say the team deserved the rest after Taco's Trials.
After lunch we went into expansive drills to replicate game situations. Splitting into two teams and playing in their preferred positions the Hornets showcased their skills they had developed through the day and the quality of football was top notch. The Hornets were able to sculpt the style of football they want to play in 2018.
The team finished off their training camp with a relaxing spa at Miranda Hot Pools. The hot water was soothing to the tired muscles after a big day. After the pools the team headed back to the rugby club for dinner and further team bonding watching the All Blacks match.
The training camp was a huge success due to the fact the players came with the right attitude; to develop and improve their skills and push themselves to the next level. Even injured players came down to support the lads as they were put through various skills, drills and fitness.
The first Hornets preseason camp was a great success and is something all future Hornets need to put in their calendars for 2019.
Big thank you to Paul Millar who was instrumental in organising the camp, Will McKenzie & Terrance Carroll for their assistance in facilitating the day and keeping the guys well fed. Thank you to Maramarua Rugby Club for hosting us and allowing us to use your facilities.
Up the Hornets!
Preseason training has been firing on all 8 cylinders the last couple of months. We have been having a turn out of 25+ players regularly with many more unable to make it due to Winter sport commitments.
The skill level has been the highest it has ever been during preseason and the Hornets are ramp up to the opening game, the first weekend of September. Keep updated on our website and Facebook supporters page for the season draw.
The AFLNZ Senior New Zealand wider training squad was announced on Monday with the inclusion of two Hornets. Luke Williams & Ryan White have been included in the wider training squad which is all part of the AFLNZ road to the 2020 International Cup.
Luke Williams' inclusion in the squad comes off the back of a successful U18 campaign with the New Zealand U18 squad. Luke was named captain of the New Zealand side, for the team when they went to play in Australia earlier this year. Luke's leadership was pivotal in helping the U18 team achieve their first ever win on Australian soil. Luke also participated in the AFLNZ 2018 Premiership as a development player. He played for many teams and was always a huge asset to which ever team he played for; even managing to kick two goals for the Western Crows when playing alongside fellow Hornet Ryan White.
Ryan's naming was based on his successful debut season for the Western Crows in the AFLNZ 2018 Premiership. Initially playing in the back pockets, Ryan was pushed forward into the centres & on ball feeding off current New Zealand players. Ryan proved to be very consistent for the Crows which earned him the Best and Fairest award for the Crows and subsequently nominated for the Overall Premiership Best and Fairest.
The Hornets are extremely proud of Luke & Ryan for being named in the wider training squad and hope that they can work hard to achieve the next level and make the senior side.
Up the Hornets.
The Howick Hornets AFL season will kick off in two weeks time on Monday 2nd July 6.00pm at the Hornets Nest (Paparoa Park, Howick).
Come on down for the first kick around and meet the new faces. Feel free to bring mates or anyone who might be interested in playing.
Up the Hornets!
Jay Green is the newest Australian expat to join the Howick Hornets Club.
Jay started footy in his country town in South Australia and won an under 16s flag. He then moved to the city and played for two years at a club called Meningie. Both these years, Jay's team made the grand final but unfortunately lost. Jay is a fast moving half back flank but can easily play up the ground in a half forward or wing position.
Jay is going to bring his experience and knowledge to the club and we are super excited to have him lineup for the hornets. Welcome to the nest mate.
Up the Hornets!