Rueben rouses Robins
Wednesday, 8th June, 2011
By John Casey
In a major boost to its re-building phase the West Football Club has come to terms with exciting new star Rueben Hayden and he has committed to completing what has so far been an exciting 2011 season.
The Robins had been concerned by reports that 25-year-old Hayden would be returning to Perth, but the exciting midfielder-forward said yesterday his trip back to WA would only be a short stay.
"I've really been enjoying Broken Hill," the talented Hayden said.
"The people of the city have been great and my team-mates at West have welcomed me with open arms - I couldn't have asked for more support.
"There are some family commitments I need to attend to back in Perth and that will take a few weeks, but I'll be back to pull on the Robins jumper before the end of the month," Hayden continued.
With local football taking this Saturday off because of the Queen's Birthday long weekend holiday it was an opportune time for Hayden to return home.
The week off will also give the silky-smooth Hayden a chance to rehabilitate a slight injury he has been carrying for the past couple of weeks.
"I can't wait to get Rueben back and have him fully fit," first-year West coach Dale Tonkin said.
"The past couple of weeks he has been struggling with a slight injury, but I can't say exactly what it is and give our opponents any type of target.
"He is a pleasure to coach, does all the work required and is a great guy to have putting on a show for all our fans," Tonkin continued.
There is no doubt that Hayden has the ability to draw a crowd - whether it is on or off the field.
His spectacular high marking - as witnessed by those at the West/North match last Saturday - has been a feature of his game that has drawn rave reviews from the long-suffering Robins fans.
"It's been a real confidence boost to have young kids and fans come up to me after a game and say they enjoyed the show I put on," Hayden said.
"To know that people are turning up to games to watch me is very rewarding and I hope to continue doing that for the rest of the season.
"Before coming to Broken Hill I was told that West had been struggling through a couple of lean years so I made it my goal to lift them up the ladder and into the finals," Hayden added.
With one-third of the season completed, West is sitting in third place on the ladder with two wins and five losses and coach Tonkin is ruing a couple of near misses where the Robins didn't get over the line.
"Two weeks ago we lost by a point and then last week against North we were looking good for a large part of the match," Tonkin said, shaking his head.
"I'm happy that we are slowly developing and are much more competitive than last year's outfit - but we have to start winning games.
"We are definitely heading in the right direction as a club - which is the main thing - and if we have a slice of luck here and there then Rueben's goal of playing in the finals is a big chance," Tonkin added.
The West FC hierarchy has certainly been impressed with both Tonkin and Hayden in their debut seasons and has already opened negotiations with the pair to extend their contracts.
"We have been very happy with the brand of football the team is playing under Dale Tonkin," WFC vice Chairman Michael McKee said.
"In 2011 our supporters have seen a marked improvement with an entertaining and free-flowing style of play and Rueben has been sensational.
"But we realise we have a long way to go and this is the just the start of big things for the Robins both on and off the field," McKee continued.
When pressed about the "big things" ahead, McKee was reluctant to immediately divulge further information, but said a major announcement regarding a sponsorship deal would be made soon.
"As always you will hear about it first in the BDT, so watch this space," McKee said.