Former Warriors hard man Tony Tuimavave is looking to put the heart and soul back into the Ponsonby
Ponies League Club.
Tuimavave, along with Cliff Bailey, are the new co-coaches of the club’s premier side for the season starting next month.
"The Ponsonby area is where I grew up all my life," he says.
"It’s a great community and we really want to put back into it."
Ponsonby has a proud tradition, winning the Fox Memorial Auckland club competition 12 times between 1917 and 1973.
"It’s good for the kids to know why the club is here and who started it," says Tuimavave, who played 78 games for the Warriors between 1995 and 2000.
The former Kiwi and Western Samoa player believes using his NRL experience will help youngsters from local suburbs develop into top-class players.
"It’s something I want to offer back to the youth. They need to learn about discipline and sacrifice.
"We can all talk about it, but it’s a matter of if you really want it, you’ll put the effort in."
Bailey, whose cousins Roger and Gary played for Ponsonby and the Kiwis, also feels the premier side would benefit from a more professional approach.
"Our main focus is on building from the bottom up and looking at long-term sustainability."
The squad has been training since last month, with 25 players practising at their Victoria Park base.
But Bailey is hoping for more recruits once the touch season finishes in the next month.
He says a match against the Warriors development side this Sunday will be a good test of where the side sits before the season starts.
As for the fortunes of the club in this year’s premier competition, Bailey says the first goal is to make it past the grading round and into the Fox Memorial competition.
Last year the Ponies played the second half of the season in the second division Sharman Cup.
For more information on playing for Ponsonby call Cliff Bailey on 021-590-037 or email cliff.bailey@win dowslive.com.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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