New Hawks captain Cody Ward inspired by dad
In our new column Gen Z in the Spotlight, we chat to determined young people in the area to find out about their hopes, dreams and accomplishments. Featured this week is 19-year-old Cody Ward, who was just named captain of the Harvey Hawks Football Club.
When Cody Ward was appointed co-captain of the Harvey Hawks Football Club at just 18 years old, he knew his dad would be proud.
The lanky 188cm midfielder from Cookernup, who had been kicking the ball since before he could run, was young yet mature.
With a caring persona, impeccable skill and a strong rapport with his team mates, Cody was the perfect choice in the eyes of coach Leigh Vaughan and was selected again this season for the team’s sole captaincy role.
Despite being one of the youngest players on the pitch, Cody said he was eager to lead the men’s team and knew his Dad (Ben) would be watching from above.
Dad was my inspiration, he loved the sport and he would always be at my games before he passed away.
“If I took a shot and missed, Dad would let me know, I would never hear the end of it.
“He was a great player and I learnt everything from him.”
Cody is one of four children and says his younger sister Amber is also involved in the sport.
The 19-year-old said he spent many years umpiring his little sister’s games and enjoyed watching her grow.
He enjoys guiding his teammates and is a selfless player. The young midfielder would rather pass the ball to a teammate to set up a scoring opportunity, than take the shot himself.
“There is no room for selfishness on the field, it is a team sport and we need to have each others’ backs,” he said.
“I like to play clean, it is important to respect the referees and the opposition.
I chat a fair bit on-field and try and make sure we communicate with each other.
“As a midfielder, I am close enough to all the other positions and can easily give directions to the other players.
Cody said he was excited to get a season despite the late start.
“You can’t help these things, we can just try and make the most of it.
“I think the boys are happy to play.
Cody said he was looking forward to welcoming Harvey boy Matthew Robinson back to the club, after a stint in Dardanup.
“He will bring a lot to the team, as will the other new recruits,” he said.
The Hawks finished second last season, despite a lengthy stay at the top of the table.
“Hopefully we will finish it off this season.”
Coach Leigh Vaughan said Ward understood the philosophy of what it meant to play for the Hawks.
“This year we have many new recruits and I felt like we needed a captain with the experience of playing both juniors and seniors for the club, to help bond the team and support both the new and old players,” Vaughan said.
Cody always demonstrates a passion for the game and the club and I’m sure he can lead by example.
When Cody in not on the pitch, he spends his time playing basketball, four-wheel driving and working towards completing his butchers apprenticeship at Harvey Supa IGA.
“Apprenticeships teach you a lot of life skills and I love working with food,” he said.
Ward will lead his team onto the field again this Sundayin a home-game against Geographe.
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