Three Southport Sharks champions retire from NEAFL footy

23rd January, 2017

Three champion players, Ben Headland, Glenn Screech and Jason Burge will retire from the North East Australian Football League after a combined 491 games with the Southport Sharks.

Ben Hedland will step down as captain after a long history with the club. The 27-year old played 132 senior games and 27 reserve grade games for the Southport Sharks. Honing his skills as a Junior Shark, Ben made his debut at the tender age of five. His successful on-field performances and natural ability to lead the club ensured his selection as captain in 2015 and 2016.

A premiership winner in 2008, Ben was also the first Southport Sharks player to play 100 games in the NEAFL. Reflecting on his stellar career at the club, Ben said “a lot of who I am today is because of this club and the relationships with the people involved. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities and support the club has given me, both on and off the field. Through numerous shoulder and knee surgeries the club has always stood by me,” said Ben.

I will always be a Southport person and I hope one day my kids will be able to experience what it is like to play for this great club,” added Ben.

Southport Sharks Football Operations Manager, Jarrod Field, paid tribute to the retiring star. “Ben is the true embodiment of what a footballer should be, he is a fearless competitor and absolutely relished leading the team, week in and week out. He will be missed both on and off the field,” Jarrod said.

Glenn Screech played 192 Senior games, 25 Reserve grade games and was a Wally Fankhauser memorial trophy winner 2016. Glenn played an important role in the 2006 and 2008 premiership teams. He will continue as a runner for the Southport Sharks in 2017.

Jason Burge played 167 Senior games and 43 Reserve grade games and was best and fairest in 2012 and 2013. He was the Wally Fankhauser memorial trophy winner 2012. Jason’s leadership qualities enabled him to captain the side in 2014. Jason helped the Sharks to victory in the 2006 and 2008 grand finals. Jason will continue playing at QAFL level.

“Glenn and Jason gave the club their all, and spent a substantial amount of time and effort at Fankhauser Reserve. Glenn’s effort of 192 senior games is simply outstanding and Jason’s back-to-back best and fairest awards will always be remembered. It will be different not seeing the boys run out in the black and white in 2017,” Jarrod said.

Southport Sharks thank Ben, Glenn and Jason for their commitment to the club throughout the years and wish them all the best for the future. The three players will always be remembered as dedicated, hard-working footballers with outstanding leadership qualities.

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