The Hornets debut season in the AFLNZ Premiership has finished with a flourish. At the conclusion of round 9, the Hornets had 5 players who had at least 1 cap for their respected teams with Luke Williams, Elliott Bennetts and Ryan White all playing the majority of the season and Kevin Crowe and Andy Cook being called up to the Giants in Round 7 & 9.
Elliot Bennetts, a key small forward for the Giants helped them secure the 2018 premiership in round 7 with two games to play. The Giants managed a 7 game unbeaten streak only to come undone in round 8 against the Crows. The Giants finished strong with a 92 point victory over the Suns in round 9 and Elliot kicking a goal from a set shot.
Elliot's knowledge of the game has developed playing along side some very experienced players. He was impressed with the intensity and level of play that is required to play in the premiership and looks to take the same intensity and his knowledge back to the Hornets for their season in 2018.
Luke Williams has performed extremely well throughout the premiership which has resulted in him being picked for the New Zealand youth side to play in Wellington. As an academy player he is allocated to a team each week; where he has slotted right in to their starting line up. Luke has been very consistent throughout the season, earning a position in the team of the week in round 6 and the rising star award in round 9. The rising star is an award for youth players whom perform exceedingly well. Luke will be a huge asset to the Hornets for future years as he is still young but gaining a lot of experience playing in the senior competitions and representing New Zealand.
Ryan White was the sole Hornet in the Western Crows. He improved week in week out; with his confidence growing through the season. Playing alongside New Zealand representatives he has gained a vast amount of experience and knowledge which he looks forward to passing on to his fellow Hornets. Ryan was named captain of the Western Crows for the final game in round 9 and was awarded the Best and Fairest award for his performance in round 9. He was also awarded the Western Crows Best and Fairest for the season which was a huge honour for his debut season.
Kevin Crowe and Andy Cook both got a taste of what premiership football is all about. The both played one game for the Central Giants alongside Elliot Bennetts. We hope that they enjoyed their experience and it encourages them to play in the competition the following year and for more Hornets to sign up. Having more Hornets playing at a higher level will only benefit the club as we go from strength to strength.
The 2018 premiership was hugely successful for the Hornets.