Harmsworth rapt to be part of Wolverines pack
GRIDIRON: David Harmsworth is a big fan of Fantasy football, a game in which the players are general managers of virtual professional gridiron teams.
That virtual world has morphed into reality for the 47-year-old.
Harmsworth is playing gridiron with the Rockhampton Wolverines, who are competing for the first time in the North Queensland League.
The team is sitting on top of the competition ladder after winning their four games and is determined to continue their impressive form when fixtures resume in the New Year.
For Harmsworth, getting to play the game he fell in love with as a spectator more than 20 years ago is a dream come true.
“It’s awesome,” he said.
“That first game in Townsville was an absolutely wonderful experience. I was on a high for days before and after.
“When we first got our gear and were putting our helmets on and our pads on and training we were all thinking this is getting real. When the first game finally came along it was unbelievable.”
Harmsworth is the second oldest player in the Wolverines outfit, with the players’ ages spanning from 19 to 49.
He was introduced to gridiron by teammate Peter Corry in the ’90s.
“Peter and a few other guys were right into it. I got interested through them and I’ve been a massive fan ever since,” he said.
“I love the complexity of it all. It’s all like one big jigsaw puzzle and you have to outwit your opponent.”
Harmsworth is the Wolverines starting right guard on the offensive line.
“My job is to protect the quarterback, that’s it in a nutshell,” he said.
“Pushing people around is my job and I don’t mind it.
“When you’ve done your job correctly and we drove down the field and score that touchdown it’s a fantastic feeling.”
Harmsworth played cricket for 30-odd years and rugby league for a few years.
He said the camaraderie of team sport was another reason he signed on with the Wolverines.
He and his teammates are thrilled with their perfect start to the competition.
“It’s been quite surreal. We didn’t expect to be 4 and 0, we were thinking maybe 2 and 2.
“But we’ve trained hard and we’ve got a good, close-knit bunch of guys.
“On the field we’ve got each other’s backs and we’re really digging in for each other.”
Harmsworth puts the success of the team down to the tightness of the playing group and the quality of the coaching staff.
“We’re clicking really well and it’s coming along nicely,” he said.
“We’re pretty confident we can go on with it. We just need to stick to what’s worked for us so far.”