COUNTRY PRIDE: Fassifern Bombers diehard Landon Hayes at Hayes Oval, a venue he always enjoys visiting.
COUNTRY PRIDE: Fassifern Bombers diehard Landon Hayes at Hayes Oval, a venue he always enjoys visiting. Rob Williams

Landon Hayes' real life field of dreams

LANDON Hayes knows what it is like to play footy in the back yard better than most.

At Hayes Oval in Harrisville he gets to do that every time he trains and plays, on a field situated on land once owned by his family.

Hayes Oval. It speaks for itself.

As the Fassifern Bombers lock forward prepares for the A Grade grand final against Goodna he can look back on a wonderful family legacy at the club.

Hayes played in an Intrust Super Cup and NRL State Championship premiership win in 2015 with the Ipswich Jets.

The 22-year-old has now gone back to his roots.

"This ground is where my family owned the land and I live just above the footy field,” he said after finishing training on Tuesday night.

"We still own the paddocks around the field and my grandfather (Jack) owned the land here which is why it is named after my family, Hayes Oval. It is a special thing.

"My family has always played for this club. I played all my juniors here and was always coming down here as early as possible and was kicking the football around.

"The club means a lot to me but I haven't been able to play for them for a long time because I have been away with the Jets.

"I was with the Jets early this year but a few things weren't going too well for me on and off the field.

"My cousin Michael plays here . . . and we all thought I needed a change and get back to enjoying the sport, because I had stopped enjoying it.

"Michael and my brother-in-law Craig Bell gave me some words of guidance to take a step back from the seriousness of football and find my enjoyment again.

"I have loved coming back here.

"Roosy (coach Daniel Roos), and the president Kent West, have been awesome as well.

"I am looking forward to ripping into this (grand final) and then having a big off-season next year, but first and foremost I want to get a win for the boys this weekend.”

Landon Hayes lives right next to the field where he learned plenty as a junior.
Landon Hayes lives right next to the field where he learned plenty as a junior. Rob Williams

Hayes played in a razzle dazzle Jets side but when he looks left and right at Fassifern he sees stars everywhere.

"It is a side oozing with talent,” he said.

"I say to a lot of the guys I play at the Jets with that this side could easily be an Intrust Super Cup side.

Hayes played in a razzle dazzle Jets side but when he looks left and right at Fassifern he sees stars everywhere.

"It is a side oozing with talent,” he said.

"I say to a lot of the guys I play at the Jets with that this side could easily be an Intrust Super Cup side.

"There is not one who couldn't make it. We obviously have Dave Fa'alogo and Scott Ireland with the experience and our centres (Marika Kuriyalavou and Leveni Kurimalawai) with the wheels.

"We have the whole combination.

"I loved the way Ben and Shane (Walker) played at the Jets and we have a lot of players that suit that style.

"There is the razzle dazzle where you can play on the back of things, mixed in with structure as well, so you get that balance.”

Hayes said Fassifern had been a real family club since its inception, and also a welcoming one.

Players with Fijian, Papua New Guinean, Tongan and Samoan cultural background amongst others are ever present.

"Rugby league is an amazing sport. It brings people together,” Hayes said.

Landon's father Peter Hayes explained to the QT that what is now called Hayes Oval was owned by the late Jack Hayes and used by the club. The land was bought by the local council and leased back to the Bombers.

Peter, a stock and station agent, said he was delighted to see his son enjoying his football and continuing a family tradition.

"I played for Fassifern. My two brothers played there. His cousin Michael Hayes is playing with him.

"It is all about heritage and I think he has learned a lot playing here. He is playing with fellas he grew up with and with imported players we have got from overseas, so it has been good for him.”

Landon remembers watching the 2012 premiership win of the Bombers like it was yesterday.

"I remember sitting there and the atmosphere was that good from the crowd,” he said.

"I woke up that morning and the whole town had shut down and everyone went to the football.

"I watched the game and I just wished I was playing. I said at the time that I wanted to come back and win a premiership for this town, so here we are five years later and I am jumping out of my skin.”



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