Bramley’s barnstorming second rower John Eliker is hoping to make it fourth time lucky in 2009 after missing out on the club’s last three Grand Final appearances.
“It was agonising to miss the end of season finale in each of the last three seasons and I’m going all out with one purpose in mind this year!” exclaimed John who was suspended for the 2006 final success at Warrington and missed out on the 2007 and 2008 defeats through injury.
“I never ever want to go through that again and it was made all the worse by watching my mates lose the last two!” added the 26-year-old who started his playing career at the age of 10 with Stanningley’s flourishing junior set-up.
He played for a number of sides across West Leeds before making an instant impact with the Buffaloes in the second half of the 2006 season with 12 tries in 11 appearances. The 2007 season was a write off for John through injury but 14 tries in 14 matches in 2008 suggests the big forward will be near the top of Bramley’s try scoring charts this year.
“I do enjoy getting over the line and get a great buzz from scoring but it’s more important of course that we notch the victories.
“We have a lot of hard work to do this season and I’m particularly looking forward to the opening home game against Nottingham Outlaws,” added John who counts last season Northern Rail clash at Salford as his career highlight.
“It’s a fantastic club to play for and a real name in rugby league circles,” added John “and I’m raring to go for the fans who have been terrific. It makes such a difference to know there’s several hundred supporters right behind you as well as your team mates.
“Our new coach Buttsy has picked up the reigns from Paul Cook and has worked us very, very hard in pre-season and the spirit and confidence in the squad is just outstanding.
“We are all pulling for each other,” concluded John. His all action approach to the game of rugby league marks him out as one to watch in 2009.