Eagles' secret key to success
THE GOODNA Eagles are a side dripping with talent across the park.
But as the old adage goes: hard work will always beat talent, until talent begins to work hard.
And the Eagles work hard.
If you ask halfback Corey Kirk, he will tell you a winning season is built as much from the work on the training track as it is the 80 minutes during a game each week.
Sometimes that knowledge can be forgotten, particularly the season after an emotional grand final triumph.
But not at Goodna. The hunger to succeed is still there, and the path to success is one every player is willing to buy-in on.
That includes boom off-season recruit David Faamita.
"David has been great for Goodna,” Kirk said of the former Norths Devils star.
"As our marquee player coming in, showing up at 6.30 on a Saturday morning and coming on 14km road runs when he'll probably get his jersey either way - doing all those extras that are not compulsory - when the marquee man shows that sort of commitment it's hard for everyone else not to get on board.”
But it is not just on the track or in the midst of the action where Faamita has impressed his new number six.
With 56 games and 21 tries to his name in the Intrust Super Cup, Faamita came to Goodna without an ego, and a desire to prove himself to his new teammates.
"People like David, who come in and are willing to invest their time in a local league like ours, it's a wonder for a club like Goodna,” Kirk said.
"I coach an under-12 junior team, and he comes down before training and helps me teach the boys a thing or two. He's been fantastic in volunteering his time. I expect him to be a major part of us moving forward this year.”
Kirk sees the club as his "second family”, and highlighted club president and A-Grade captain Ramon Filipine as the driving force behind the Eagles' close-knit culture.
"Culture is a major thing for us, and that comes from Ramon,” Kirk said.
"We look at this team as our second family, and Ramon has been a major player in making sure the culture reflects that.”
Filipine was absent for the Eagles' round one win over last season's grand final rivals Fassifern at the weekend.
Even without arguably their best player on the paddock, the Eagles still found their way to a comfortable 16-point win.
But Kirk knows the Eagles are always a better side with their spiritual leader on the field.
"You always miss someone like Ramon when he's out, he's our captain and leads by his actions,” Kirk said.
"We'll look forward to hopefully getting him back (against Swifts on Sunday).”
Asked if the hunger to win a premiership remained as strong after last year's success, Kirk just smiled.
"If it wasn't there we wouldn't be out here playing,” he said.
"We've set ourselves some goals this year. I won't share them with you just yet, but we know what we want to get out of this year and we're focused.”
Goodna tackles Swifts at Purga on Sunday after beating Fassifern 34-18 last weekend.