DENMAN Devils’ spiritual leader Ben Hagan will follow in the footsteps of such great clubmen as Neil Barry, Gary McKeon and Joey Nebauer, to name a few, when he tackles the Aberdeen Tigers on Sunday.
The tough-as-teak forward is lacing up the boots for his 100th first grade appearance in the BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League encounter at Denman Oval.
And, Devils vice-president Jay Shepherdson said it was a fitting milestone for Hagan.
“Ben loves the club,” he told the Chronicle.
“It’ll be a proud moment for him, especially with his brothers Tom and Dan by his side.
“Playing 100 matches, for one team, does not happen very often in the modern era.
“So, it’s a big achievement.”
Hagan kicked off his career with the Devils, as captain-coach, in 2010 – the year Denman lost to the Tigers in the grand final.
“Since his arrival, we’ve made the 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015 deciders and we were minor premiers in 2012,” Shepherdson said.
“So, Ben’s played a major role in the club’s success.
“In 2015, he also made the NSW Country side.
“He had a year off in 2016 – but it’s great to have him back this season, again as captain-coach.
“Not only does Ben lead by example, he’s well-respected by everyone.
“We congratulate him on a terrific feat.”
The Devils smashed Greta Branxton 68-6 in round 10 to maintain second spot behind the Muswellbrook Rams.
However, they’ll need to knock over Aberdeen this weekend or face being leap-frogged on the ladder.
Round 10 results:
First grade –
Denman def Greta Branxton 68-6
Scone def Muswellbrook 28-16
Singleton def Aberdeen 28-18
Reserve grade –
Aberdeen def Merriwa 38-28
Greta Branxton def Denman 14-12
Scone def Muswellbrook 26-22
Singleton def Murrurundi 32-6
Muswellbrook def Scone 22-10
Singleton def Denman 18-4
Women’s league tag –
Merriwa def Aberdeen 54-4
Denman def Greta Branxton 14-12
Murrurundi def Singleton 26-0
Scone def Muswellbrook 6-4
Round 11 draw:
Sunday, July 9 at Denman Oval
2pm: first grade, Denman v Aberdeen
12.35pm: reserve grade, Denman v Aberdeen
11.20am: under-18s, Denman v Muswellbrook
10.15am: women’s league tag, Denman v Aberdeen