Howe’s that: State footy honours all in the family

Triple treat: Harvey, Addison and Oakley Howe have represented their state in football during 2021. photograph supplied

Alyssa Fritzlaff

A TRARALGON family have had three children represent Victoria in football this year.

Harvey, Oakley and Addison Howe have spent 2021 representing the state at a high level of
Australian Rules football.

Seventeen year old Harvey played Vic Country Football, while 15-year-old Oakley and 14-year-old Addison played in School Sport Victoria Country Football teams.

Following in their father’s footsteps, the three siblings all played for Southside Junior Football Club, Traralgon in their earlier days – Addison only moving to Traralgon Football Club’s Youth Girls team in 2021.

The three siblings now play for Traralgon Football Netball Club.

All three have aspirations of playing football at a professional level, and do not intend on letting the setbacks experienced during the pandemic get in their way.

While Oakley and Addison have a little way to go until they can make their professional football dreams become a reality, hopefully for Harvey the realisation of playing in the AFL is not too far away.

At 203cm and 95kg, Harvey stands tall among many other footballers his age.

The young ruckman showed off his skills playing for Vic Country in the 2021 National
Championships, where he was praised in the match report for his dominance in the ruck battle and consistency throughout the match.

He reportedly played a significant role in Vic Country’s early wins in the midfield and continually won hitouts as the game continued.

His younger brother Oakley can be seen playing primarily in the backline, while Addison
is a forward.

Addison made a splash early on at Traralgon, being listed as a player to watch for Round 6 after averaging 4.5 goals a game.

Gippsland Power head coach Rhett McLennan has had the pleasure of coaching both Harvey and Addison.

“They both really love their footy,” he said.

“Harvey is very much dedicated to continually improving and is very task focused.

“His ruck craft for his age is extremely impressive… the way that he uses is body is beyond his years, in the way that he can position himself in a ruck contest.”

McLennan praised Addison for her enthusiasm for the game.

“Addy is extremely talented … she’s just rapt to be playing football, she’s always got a smile on her face,” he said.

“I really think the sky’s the limit with her footy at the moment … she’s got good skills and a really good running capacity.”

Oakley is currently in the middle of Gippsland Power try-outs and has been praised by his
Traralgon coach Troy Hamilton for his hard work and determination during the 2021 season.

“Oakley is very keen to learn and be the best he can be,” Mr Hamilton said.

“He’ll give anything a crack, he attacks the ball and the man really hard… he’s very adaptive, he can play a lot of roles. He’s really strong in the air, but he’s also really strong at ground level.”

COVID-19 has been a challenging time for the young footballers. However, they managed to overcome the challenges the pandemic threw at them.

“They coordinated their training together, and worked it around their schooling during the
lockdowns… it was a bit harder for them to get motivated at times,” mother Justine Hickey said.

“It would have been harder for people who are only children… but luckily there’s three of them.”

The lockdowns were not only challenging from a training perspective, but from a social perspective as well, Harvey explained.

“It was difficult during COVID,” he said.

“It’s been really good to get back out there with the team… some people I hadn’t seen in over a year.”

Harvey’s ultimate goal is to be drafted into the AFL in 2022 – a goal which his siblings also hope to achieve in later years.

Parents Andrew Howe and Justine Hickey could not be prouder of their children’s achievements, and hope that they smash their goals in 2022.

“We just encouraged them to keep going and work hard,” Andrew said.

They said that their children’s determination and ability to overcome injuries and other challenges has been amazing.

“They’re really determined and resilient,” Justine said.