Redcliffe stalwart's A-Grade landmark

Published 6:00am 25 June 2024

Redcliffe stalwart's A-Grade landmark
Words by Nick Crockford

David Halliday is in a league of his own after becoming the first in Brisbane hockey history to play 400 Division One matches.

Every game has been for Redcliffe Hockey Club - and if you include turning out for Seconds and Thirds teams the tally is more than 1000.

He reached the 400-match landmark on Saturday, receiving a guard of honour at the Oxley Ave ground and special presentation from the club.

“Never in my life did I imagine getting to 400 games,” Halliday said, thanking his wife, family and club colleagues for supporting him.

“I love playing hockey and coaching the juniors, this club is really good with juniors, but I’ll probably stop playing A-Grade this year.

Redcliffe stalwart's A-Grade landmark
A guard of honour was formed for David Halliday before his 400th game.

“Turning 42 this year was a big thing, but you never know what’s going to happen.”

President Cameron Howes paid tribute to Halliday, who has also coached Redcliffe juniors for many years and served as an umpire.

“David’s achievement is testimony to his longstanding loyalty to the Redcliffe Hockey Club,” President Howes said.

“He has played through the club’s good years and tough years, but always been ready to play for Redcliffe at the highest level, without regard for the level of success the team is experiencing.

“His career is a tremendous achievement and one the Redcliffe Hockey Club is proud to recognise.”

Redcliffe Hockey Club made a special presentation to David Halliday before his milestone match.

Halliday joined Redcliffe at the age of five – when living in Petrie - and made his first-grade debut at 15 in 1998, when the club had three grass pitches.

Since then, Halliday’s highlights include helping Redcliffe win the Brisbane Division 1 title in 2003 and scoring the winning goal to beat Easts in the grand final.

He was also in the 2009 Redcliffe team which won the Brisbane Division 1 Minor Premiership and the following year scored a season-best 20 goals.

Much has changed in the game over 27 seasons and one of the secrets to Halliday’s longevity is “playing smart hockey”, he said.

“The game has got quicker, more technical and more mental than physical. It’s about picking your time, picking your runs, not over-exerting yourself.

“I’ve had heaps of injuries, but I’m still here at Redcliffe. If I do stop playing, I won’t play for another club.”

Halliday, who travels from Brisbane’s southside to train, coach and play, has strong family ties to Redcliffe, with cousin Daniel Pritchard and father Ian also playing A-Grade.

However, two years ago, Halliday went a step higher, playing in his first national tournament and returning with a winner’s medal and as leading scorer.

When unable to play in the state Masters State titles and chase selection for Queensland, he registered to fill-in for the national event on the Gold Coast and was invited to join West Australia Country - which won Division 2!

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