THE North Sydney Premier League team will face the New Year hopeful of a successful 2006 season, with the news that the Club has retained key players from 2005 as well as some quality new signings.As the Bears Premier League and Jersey Flegg teams gathered at the Norths Leagues club for their first official function leading up to 2006, negotiations have revealed both strength up front and quality out back in 2006.PHOTO: North Sydney Players' Player and Player of the Year Ben Ellis has re-signed for 2006.Re-signing for 2006 Premier League:John RussellAndrew MoodieLuke FatnownaBen EllisMichael HarperRichard RetimanaAnthony BeareNew recruits for 2006 Premier League:Ben Black (from Halifax)Scott McLean (from St. Marys)Brendan Crabb (from Manly)Daniel Watkins (from Manly)Daniel Russell (from Parramatta)Aaron Trinder (from Manly)Suli Koroibulileka (from Manly)Moving on from 2005 Premier League:Namila Davui - Bulldogs 2006Chris Tuatara - Bulldogs 2006Lester Salanoa - Bulldogs 2006Billy Ngawini - Bulldogs 2006Aaron Heremaia - Leigh (UK) 2006Kyle Arnold - Manly 2006Ben Kalcina - releasedAnthony Kiro - releasedWayne McDade - releasedSteven Hales - releasedScott Webb - released
NORTH Sydney General Manager Greg Florimo has stressed both commitment and discipline in his opening address to the troops at the Bears' first official function at the Norths Leagues Club on Friday night.?While we were turned down for the opportunity to play in the NRL we have not given up hope. We will concentrate on winning in Jersey Flegg and Premier League, to put ourselves in the best possible position if a chance of an NRL franchise comes along. So we are here to win not lose. While we do not have an NRL team we do have a feeder arrangement with the Storm and a number of our players trained with them this year.?Greg also talked about the commitment required. ?You?ll play 24 of the hardest games you?ve ever played ? don?t die wondering! Congratulations on getting to this stage and hopefully you?ve got the right stuff we are looking for.?Photo: Greg Florimo drills the new recruits in the Auditorium of Norths Leagues Club on Friday night.
ONE of the hardest workers on the field this season, Ben Ellis has won both the Player of the Year and Players' Player awards at the Bears presentation night on Friday 14 October. Held at the North Sydney Bowling Club and MC'd by General Manager and Bears legend Greg Florimo, the night was attended by an enthusiastic crowd of players, coaches, officials, and supporters.In his opening address, Flo expressed his appreciation to the players for their efforts throughout the year, starting with the pre-season training drills in the sandhills at Cronulla last October. A lot of effort went into the season, culminating in the Premier League finishing just short of a place in the finals. This was a big improvement on recent seasons, and augurs well for the future.Flo pointed out that while the NRL denied the Bears the opportunity to participate in the elite competition, North Sydney nevertheless continued to foster and develop talented players, many of whom have been signed by NRL clubs for 2006. While it was disappointing for the club to lose players, he wished them every success with their new clubs. He looked forward to members of the 2006 squads also using the club as a stepping stone to the NRL via the feeder club arrangement with the Melbourne Storm, with which North Sydney began an affiliation in 2005, which will continue next season.Finally Flo thanked the support staff who get the sides on the park each week, but who often don't get the accolades that go to the players and coaches. Flo also thanked the supporters for remaining with the club and hoped to see bigger numbers at the games in 2006.Coach Gary Freeman also acknowledged the efforts of the players. Wizz has stood down as coach due to his broadcasting commitments, but hoped that the Bears would build on the achievements of 2005.A final comment from Flo was the fact that North Sydney won all their games where Michael Pobjie filled in for Wizz, suggesting that Pobje should retire with his 100 percent record intact.The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the player awards. Flo said that the awards were an important way for the club to honour players who had excelled during the season, and how the winners would join the ranks of some exalted company in North Sydney's long history. Ben Ellis received both the Premier League Player of the Year and the Players' Player awards. Getting both awards was a tribute to the young forward. Ellis said he was the fittest and strongest he had been since he moved to Australia from New Zealand, and gave credit to trainer Jamie Papa for that. He also thanked Gary Freeman for doing extra training sessions with him to work on his game. In presenting the award, Flo commented that Ellis had made 63 tackles in one game, which was more than Gary Freeman made during his long career.Richard Retimana received the award for Highest Pointscorer - 4 tries and 46 goals. As Ritch was in New Zealand playing for the Maori team, the award was accepted on his behalf by team mate Matt Thurston who gave the funniest acceptance speech of the night, including the observation that the award would have been his had he been given more opportunities.In Jersey Flegg, Ryan Verlinden was named Player of the Year, and Anthony Beare Players' Player. Beare played all 24 games for Flegg, a side which improved enormously over the season. One of the youngest sides in the competition - the side was competitive against such teams as the Sharks and Parramatta. Norths is looking forward to a successful Flegg season in 2006 and a repeat of the finals berth achieved in 2004.Also in Jersey Flegg, Pat Galea received the Most Improved award. Pat was called into the Premier League team mid-season to play prop and never took a backward step. Pat Allendorf accepted the award on his behalf As Pat Galea was in Malta with the national team.Captain Kyle Arnold was a popular choice as North Sydney's Clubman of the Year. Coach Freeman spoke highly of Kyle's abilities both on and off the field, including his work in helping the team bond. The award is a great recognition of a popular clubman.The Supporters' Player of the Year award is Sponsored by www.mightybears.com. Votes were recorded after each game by supporters in a 3-2-1 format. David Choy had the honour of making the inaugural presentation which went to halfback Aaron Heremaia. As Aaron was in New Zealand with the Maori team Gary Freeman accepted the award on his behalf. Wizz spoke about Heremaia's determination to bounce back from a mid season lapse in form which actually saw him dropped from the side, and how he lifted his game to be one of the standout players in the second half of the season. Wizz believes Aaron will play for New Zealand within a couple of years.The final comment from Flo was a thank you to the sponsors the Mighty Bears for their support during the 2005 season - Norths Leagues, J.J. Lawson, the Rag & Famish Hotel, the Cienna Group, Taragon Constructions and Di Mare Seafood Cammeray. Also to the players sponsors; Allied Pickfords, Coverforce, the Dural Country Club, Foster Raffan, mightybears.com, redandblackzone.com, Michael Tonello Typography and The Old Bears Club. And a successful 2006 will position the club for the League's 100th Premiership in 2007 and the Centenary Year Premiership in 2008.See photos of the Seniors Player Presentation Night in the Photos section at http://www.northsydneybears.com.au/Ben Ellis accepts his Player of the Year (Premier League) award flanked by 1st grade legends Gary Freeman and Greg Florimo. Photo: Steve Little
IN October 2004 the North Sydney Premier League side began their arduous training schedule with a visit to one of the icons of Rugby League training - the Cooper Park Stairs.12 months later the Bears S. G. Ball side have attempted to emulate their elders by attempting to run those very same stairs.Twenty gruelling laps of stairs in two gruelling hours was the target.Egged on by support staff including inspirational Premier League Fullback John Russell, the boys put in a huge effort. But it was not just running the stairs. The newly appointed Bears were also asked to bunny hop and sidewind up each and every step.The day finished with a revealing speech from one of the icons of the club, fullback John Russell. John talked of how hard and tough he liked to play his football as the discussion continued on the importance of communicating and playing as a team."It was a very hard day" said Coach Michael Pobjie. "But the boys will remember this. When times are tough during the season the catch cry will be 'Cooper Park'".See more photos of the Cooper Park training run in the Photos section at www.northsydneybears.com.Photo: Bears do the bunny-hop during the gruelling training session by the S. B. Ball team at the Cooper Park stairs. Photo: Steve Little
THE Club would like to welcome successful businessman Jim Lawson to the North Sydney Football Club Board of Directors.Bears General Manager Greg Florimo was delighted with the appointment, "I'm very happy to have Jim on board. His business knowledge and his passion for the Bears will be a tremendous asset to the Club".Already Jim has speed up preparations for the new range of North Sydney on-line merchandise which will be available in November 2005.For more news go to the Bears official website at www.northsydneybears.com.au
ON Friday night the 30th of September the Kamaraigal Room at the Norths Leagues Club was the scene of the 2005 North Sydney First Grade Players Reunion. Many ex Bears including greats such as Frank Hyde, Peter Diversi, John Grey and Jason Taylor heard from Football General Manager Greg Florimo and Chairman Barry Glasgow before trading tall tales and true with their fellow players.Flo implored his fellow players to get behind the club by applying for membership and voting on the Team of the century in preparation for the Clubs big event of 2006. Barry Glasgow also spoke of supporting the club by joining up and of the renewed relationship between the Norths Leagues club and football club as both work towards the common goal of making the Bears a successful club and work towards the possibility of an NRL franchise on the Central Coast.See photos of the 1st Grade Players reunion in the Photos section of Norths Official Website www.northsydneybears.com.auPhoto: Two of the greats - Gary Larson and John Gray. Photo by: Steve Little
FOUNDATION and stand alone club North Sydney have attracted record numbers to their annual open trials in preparation for the 2006 season. In a strong indication of the future of league on the North Shore over 2 thirds of the 470 registrations were for the junior grades. "Very happy with the quality. There were some big units out there that performed well in the conditions" said S. G. Ball coach Michael Pobjie. While Jersey Flegg Coach Steve Carter had similar thoughts "Yes very happy, lots of talent to choose from".Very warm midday weather made it a hard day at the office for many players but General Manager Greg Florimo's debriefing after each game gave an indication of his appreciation, "Good effort out there today, It's very hot, summer conditions and it's off season so your fitness is probably down, but you performed very well today".Overwhelmed by the turn up the club will now conduct further invited trials next Sunday for both the S. G. Ball and Jersey Flegg teams, while selected Harold Matthews players will be invited for further training before a final trial in November. For details of times locations and invited players please go to the 2006 trials information page of the Bears website http://www.northsydneybears.com.au/Information/Registration.htm
LAST Wednesday (21st September) began the elite training for the Bears Harold Matthews and S. G. Ball teams. 30 players in all will attend tailor
made training programs for 4 weeks leading up to the Clubs open trails on the 8th and 9th of October. For details of registration for these open trials go to http://www.northsydneybears.com.au to register on line.
THE Bears Jersey Flegg team have finished their season within 2 points of beating the 3rd placed Parramatta after dominating the Eels in the first
12 Aug 2005: The North Sydney Jersey Flegg side has continued to improve and look to the 2006 season in its last home match of the season.