Steve Little

Articles Written: 173

Recent Articles by Steve Little

Willie Leyshon lead Bears head to Central Coast

WITH the North Sydney Premier League on a first round bye it

Bears beat Sharks in thriller at Toyota

THE Bears S G Ball side have returned serve on their loss against Parramatta in a thrilling match at Toyota Park on Saturday

Meeting: Rugby League Supporters and Voluntary Workers Association

TUESDAY the 20th February sees the next scheduled meeting of the Rugby League and Volunteer Workers Association. This meeting is open to the public with the South Sydney Leagues Club

Bears head to Kurri Kurri

EX Bears first grader and 2007 Jersey Flegg Coach Willie Leyshon will head to Kurri Kurri this Saturday hoping to reward his young players and keep their fitness levels up after completing their first trial of the season

Bears hit the paddock this weekend

THE new

Bears fired up for 100th season

NORTH Sydney Bears General Manager Greg Florimo says the spirit at the club remains as strong as ever as it prepares to celebrate its 99th birthday next Wednesday night

Bears sign top local talent

THE North Sydney Bears have moved to sign three talented players from their under 17s development squad who have a long and successful history in the District and are full of the passion needed in the NSW Rugby League S. G. Ball Competition.Berowra under 17s Grand Finalist Curtis Johnston and North Sydney Brothers under 16s Premiership winner Josh Nicholls have both signed two year contacts while Ashley Calvert-Evers also a Berowra Grand Finalist, has signed for one year with an option for 2008.Despite only signing initially for the 2007 season, talented Berowra half back Ashley Calvert-Evers is ready to commit to one of the toughest junior competitions in the World. Reserved off the field Ash's outstanding performance in a recent trial against the Sharks is believed to have cemented his spot in 2007. "My plan is to have a good season in Ball and hopefully get a run in Jersey Flegg. I hope to get the call up to play in Premier League in 2008" said Ash who has played for Berowra since seven years and represented the Bears in Harold Matts in 2005. "Norths is my local area. I've been with Berowra for a while, playing for the Bears is very important to me".Curtis Johnston's passion for the Bears is unmistakable beginning in 1996 at North Sydney Brothers garnering best player awards four years running before moving into the North Sydney Development ranks and dual representation in Union and league for St Leos College and Asquith Boys High. "All my life I've wanted to play for the Bears. I've supported them since I was 2 or 3". North Sydney Team of the Century centre Greg Florimo believes "He has a great football brain and he's become very strong and has a good frame for a centre". Curtis claims "I plan to perform to the best of my ability while showing loyalty and give 110% to have a winning team on the field in 2007".2006 Harold Matthews captain and lock Josh Nicholls comes to the under 18s fresh from a grand final win for North Sydney Brothers in the U16s against Belrose and the competition winning North Shore Marist Catholic College side who defeated the Kogarah team. "It's a big deal to play for Norths. I've been in and around the Club most of my life and to run out in the Red and Black is a big deal". Josh admits to not being that interested in sport in his early years but was guided by his parents in to the sport of rugby league and never looked back. "My plan is to get a starting position in the S G Ball team and make the NSW under 17s representative team. Second to play Jersey Flegg and move on up from there".The Bears will hold further trials possibly against Penrith and Western District after the New Year.PICTURED: Signed and ready to deliver! From left Josh Nicholls, Coach Jamie Papa, Ashley Calvert-Evers and kneeling Curtis Johnston.PHOTO: Steve Little.

Bears 07 junior coaches

NORTH Sydney CEO Greg Florimo has moved to instil continuity in the junior representational coaching ranks with the re-appointment of 2006 Harold Matthews Coach Kevin Nichols and the appointment of Jamie Papa as S. G. Ball Coach for 2007.In his initial speech to the Harold Matthews training squad Kevin Nichols has reiterated his call to get behind the passion of the Bears. Kevin Nichols experience in junior rugby league at both the professional and local level will no doubt be an effective asset as he returns with the full 2006 support staff. The Willoughby Roos' Gary Armstrong returns as Assistant Coach while ex first grader Simon Brockwell and Steve Thompson will throw their wealth of experience once again behind the Bears under 16s team.Last years Assistant Ball Coach Jamie Papa will take over as Coach in 2007. Jamie's extensive strength and conditioning background, including a stint with the premiership winning Roosters in 2004 under Ron Palmer, Jamie brings science and professionalism to the 9 round under 18s comp.Having coached the Bears under 17s development Squad 'Paps' will take 11 of that team into a preseason squad that will trail Cronulla, Penrith and the new Western District training squads."I have gone for size yes, but mainly I have gone for the enthusiasm that the boys showed during the trials" claimed Jamie.Jamie will have support from former first graders Michael Pobjie (as Assistant Coach) and Darren Allard and will be joined by Kyle Noche and Berowra's Mel Starr for 2007 in support.A North Sydney junior himself Greg Florimo feels these appointments will continue the momentum of last and pre-season and bring much needed continuity to the junior rep levels. "Kevin Nichols appointment brings a wealth of development experience and knowledge of our local juniors. If he can carry over the same spread of locals this year he will maintain the strength of local representation in the under 16s team.Jamie Papa's strength and conditioning background brings a positive, reliable and well disciplined approach. From his role in this years Ball and his coaching of the development squad he has shown he has the will to win, and will instil a strong work ethic as the boys vie for promotion to the NRL."PICTURED: Simon Brockwell played 101 games for Norths between 1981 and 1987. Now he's passing on his wealth of experience to the Bears Juniors.PHOTO: Steve Little.To see photos of the North Sydney Harold Matthews Training Squad - see photos of the North Sydney S.G. Ball Training Squad against the Sharks -

North Sydney Jersey Flegg trials postponed

DUE to the extremely hot conditions forecast for this Saturday the Jersey Flegg trials have been postponed. The trials will now be held on Saturday 21st October at TG Milner Field with an 8:30am start.Players to be invited back for further trial matches on Saturday 14th and 21st of October are listed on the Norths website: all of those players who attended North Sydney's open trials in the Harold Matthews, SG Ball and Jersey Flegg age groups - thankyou. Players can be proud of their efforts and the spirit in which the games were played.We return to TG Milner Field this Saturday 14th October to further refine the squads, with Harold Matthews and SG Ball players required at 8.30am, and the following Saturday 21st October for the Jersey Flegg with players required at 8.30am. If you do not find your name in the squad, once again thankyou for your efforts and good luck for season 2007. To those players who are required, please ensure you arrive on time.For any further inquiries, please call Greg Florimo on 0421695594.Players are asked once again to print the indemnity form [on the Norths website above], sign it and bring the form with you on the day.

Johnson & Dears take honours

KARL JOHNSON AND CHRIS DEARS TAKE OUT TOP HONOURS AT BEARS AWARDS NIGHTNew North Queensland recruit Karl Johnson and Jersey Flegg captain Chris Dears have been named '2006 North Sydney Player of the Year' in Premier League and Jersey Flegg respectively.Held on the night of Friday 15th September the North Sydney Bears 2006 Player Awards held a night of passion, humour and sadness for the hard working crew of the North Sydney Club.General Manager Greg Florimo opened the proceedings with a thank you to the Club's major Sponsors the Norths Leagues Club and J.J. Lawson and the Board of Directors of the Football Club.Next a big thank you to the hardcore of supporters some of whom attended the night and received a small trophy of appreciation for their big effort in supporting the Bears over 26 massive rounds in 2006.A minutes silence was held for Jim Brannigan who only passed away recently. Together with his wife Molly he manned the gate at home matches over the last two seasons.Then a thank you from Flo to the people behind the players, the friends and family who supported them over a long and tough season. Then the focus of the night turned to the men who played for the Bears in 2006.Jersey Flegg Coach Steve Carter was reflective of his stint at Norths, "I think we all learnt a lot this year. Highlights included wins against Wests and Parramatta at home and we had 6 players make Premier League. Steve thanked trainers Trevor Perrin and John Peaua for their dedication and invited them up to the stage to help present the awards.Tupou Peaua received the 'Most Consistent Player' award. A great achievement for a player who missed all but one match for the season. Alternating between centre, prop and second row Greg Florimo praised his 'versatility off the bench".Top try scorer Bladen Baird (11 tries for the season) won 'Best Back' for 2006. His lengthy runs to the try line not only garnered points but lifted his team to some of their best victories.Respected second rower Arnold Mano won 'Best Forward' of the year for Jersey Flegg. Arnold received kudos from both coaches for leading by example.Finally Chris Dears who played all 24 matches in 2006 received the coveted 'Player of the Year' award. "He's a gentleman. He impressed with his attitude both on and off the field and has the ability to be a success both in football and life" commented Greg Florimo. 2006 Premier League Coach Josh White was then called up to the dais. His often humorous and always entertaining commentary on the season reflected the great friendships that had come out of a relatively tough season."It's been a roller coaster year. We all tried hard and had fun which is important [I believe if you've not having fun you should not be playing football]. Thank you for the hard work this season. Kudos to all of you having to work all day [some hard physical work] while some opposition players are taking a taxi to have a massage" said Josh White!Josh congratulated the young Jersey Flegg players who made the grade in Premier League in 2006, Liam Foran, James Maloney, Arnold Mano, Bladen Baird and Chris Dears was "outstanding". Josh thanked his coaching staff; Michael Pobjie "great Bloke and a good friend", Jamie Papa "great knowledge of training, knows how to prepare for a match", Mick Tonello "a great statistician and always ready with a comment", Trent Rosa "Has a great knowledge of the game" and Brendan Travers "A great bloke to have around".Missing only one match this season right centre Karl Johnson garnered both the Player of the Year and Players' Player awards. Karl's in your face and aggressive attack has not only impressed his club but also North Queensland coach Graham Murray where KJ is headed in 2007.Coming into his own in the second half of the season left centre Daniel Watkins was awarded 'Best Back'. Despite only playing 16 matches Dan's scoots and metres gained for the year were comparable to a full season of footy.Contributed by sponsor the Supporters' Player of the Year award includes a cash prize of $500. Bears Hooker Ben Ellis received the dual honours of 'Best Forward' and 'Supporters' Player of the Year' awards. Accomplished in attack and outstanding in defence his 1066 tackles for the season and similar work in 2005 leaves an outstanding legacy at the North Sydney Club.PICTURED: Forward Chris Dears receives his 'Player of the Year' award.From left: Trevor Perrin, Chris Dears, John Peaua, Steve Carter.PHOTO: Steve Little.

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