Tom Rockliff headlines Old Timers Weekend at Northies

By Stuart Kavanagh

There’s a big weekend coming up for North Broken Hill Football Club as Old Timers Weekend, or Christmas as they like to call it at the club, comes around.

Festivities kick off on Saturday afternoon when the Bulldogs take on the Mighty Robins at 2:30pm at Jubilee Oval.

Both sides are hoping to bounce back from defeats last round. North went down to Central by 20 points, and West will hope to restore some pride after being absolutely belted by South by 139 points.

North has brought in reinforcements this week. Northies are renowned for getting in some big names. Just last year, they had former AFL stars Dean Solomon and Heath Shaw don the blue and white jersey. This year is no different.

Ex Brisbane Lions and Port Power midfielder Tom Rockliff will pull on the boots this Saturday.

The former Brisbane captain retired from footy at the highest level last year after a myriad of serious injuries curtailed his career’s tail end. When I spoke to Tom this week, he said he still had some sore spots, and his shoulders and knees weren’t up to their prior elite level.

But he was raring to go, saying, “hopefully, I can line up in a forward pocket and kick a few goals.”

It was another Broken Hill alumni that made this appearance possible. A stay at Taylor Walker’s mum’s house was crucial in getting Rocky to run out for the Bulldogs this weekend.

When Tom was trying to get to Brisbane during one of the many COVID lockdowns we have experienced in the last couple of years, he had to make an impromptu stop in Broken Hill. That’s where the efforts to woo him back to play for North began.

Despite being “10-15 kilos heavier than his AFL days”, the fantasy football legend said he is “really looking forward to getting up here”.

Adding to the day’s pageantry, the next generation of Broken Hill footy stars might be running out with the senior side this weekend.

Local kids who play Auskick will have the opportunity to run out with the Northies players on Saturday afternoon.

After turning out for North’s senior men’s side, you’ll likely catch the former AFL superstar having a beer or two or enjoying the club’s BBQ on Saturday night.

On Old Timers weekend at North Broken Hill, Legends Night honours are handed out on Saturday night.

This year, Legends Night honours will also be handed out to the class of 2021, who didn’t get the opportunity to receive their awards in person last year due to COVID restrictions.

Old Timers weekend wraps up on Sunday with the past players’ reunion.

Rockliff will be the guest speaker at the invite-only event where this year’s Top Dog will be announced. You must have played or volunteered for the club to access the exclusive event.

The esteemed Top Dog is usually awarded to a person with 25-plus years of service to the club and is voted on by other recipients of the Top Dog award.

One of the premier events on the Broken Hill footballing calendar, you don’t want to miss this weekend at North Broken Hill Football Club.

Whether you’re a diehard Northies fan, hoping to get an autograph and a selfie with AFL legend Tom Rockliff, or you want to grab a snag on bread at the BBQ, get down to Jubilee Oval this Saturday afternoon.

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