All eyes will be on Singleton Rooster Sam Howard this Saturday when he leads his side out against Newcastle City for his 100th game.
While tomorrow’s final home and away clash has no bearing on the top four, with both sides set to play off again in the following Saturday’s semi-final, a host of club names will be cheering Howard on from start to finish.
“Over the last couple of seasons, Sam has developed into one of the most important players for us,” Singleton defender Mitchell Gaffney said.
“This year he was forced to move to centre half back and is having a terrific year.”
Howard has also played an integral role off the field as a senior vice president, second grade mentor and Covid officer.
Prior to the arrival of playing coach Jed Ellis Cluff in February, the 22-year-old also led the pre-season training program for the senior group.
Senior president Nadene McBride hopes the line-up can bring home the win for the defender in honour of his off-field efforts.
“Sam Howard to most is a young Rooster who can play football,” senior president Nadene McBride explained.
“But to our committee, he is the senior vice president who has helped our club through one of the toughest years in sporting history.
“Sam helped lead the men’s team before Jed cemented the role of senior men’s coach and he is the coach of the Shield team who he helped keep on the paddock all year.”
The last time Newcastle City travelled to Rose Point Park, they faced their first defeat to the Roosters (in the top tier) in over 20 years.
While his teammates went on to celebrate the feat throughout the late hours of the night, Howard replayed the match and counted the statistics of every player in his side (he would finish with 15 disposals and 8 tackles in the 57-point win).
Ultimately, he will be clapped onto the field by senior trainer Pete Childs (father of his late teammate and best friend Brian).
“Sam plays with a lot of passion which has been evident over the past five years,” Childs admitted.
“He and Brian were the backbone of the under-18 teams and they were the best of mates which made it a bit hard for Sam and all of us but he we’re proud that he has adjusted fairly well.
“He came up to me one day and said I am playing for Brian today because that is the way Sam thinks and it a bit hard for me to put into words.”