This weekend two-time premiership player, Alex ‘Huggo’ Huggins, plays his 150th open-age game for the Pennant Hills Demons.
Before joining the Senior club in 2001, Alex had 10 seasons at Pennant Hills Juniors, amassing 167 club games, winning three
premierships and was team Best & Fairest on four occasions. This record speaks loudly to his obvious football talent which he would eventually bring to the Senior club. It’s also noteworthy that he played alongside some other well known football
proteges including Brant Jack, Nick Potter and future Swan’s star, Jarrad McVeigh. Over a number of seasons, these four boys were frequently vying for the top three honours in their respective team’s awards. Notably, Alex trumped both Jarrad and Brant when he was awarded the B&F in the Under 11s in 1995! Check out the table below.
|Alex Huggins 150 game milestone – Junior Award Winners 1992 – 99|
|Year||Team||B&F||R/U B&F||Most Consistent||Coach’s Award|
|1992||U9||James Leggott||David Power||Bradley Morris||Alex Huggins|
|1993||U9||Alex Huggins||Nick Potter||Brant Jack||Stuart Everett|
|1994||U11||Alex Huggins||James Leggott||Steven Gray||Peter McCarthy|
|1995||U11||Alex Huggins||Jarrad McVeigh||Brant Jack||Brendan Cavanagh|
|1996||U12 Red||Jarrad McVeigh||Brant Jack||Campbell Smith||Adian Lal|
|1996||U12 Blue||Alex Huggins||Nick Potter||Bohyan Ivanoff||Andrew Slimmon|
|1997||U14||Anthony Withers||Trent Whalan||Alex Huggins||Shaun Martin|
|1998||U14||Brant Jack||Jarrad McVeigh||Alex Huggins||Daniel Miles|
|1999||U14||Jarrad McVeigh||Nick Potter||Tom Elder||Tom Pope|
In his first season at the Senior club in 2001, Alex didn’t play much footy with the Demons due to his commitments to the Sydney Redbacks (an Under 16 side competing in the Under 18 competition) and his involvement in the NSW/ACT Rams program. He only played four games for Penno in his first season, two in the under 18s, one in the Reserves and he also played his first grade debut in the 1st Semi Final against St George at Roger Sheeran Oval. What a treat it must have been to have played his first senior match in a final and what a thrill to play alongside such Demons luminaries as Chris Yard and Barnaby Howarth. Unfortunately, the Demons were knocked out of the finals race that day, going down to St George by 21 pts. North Shore were the eventual 2001 Premiers, beating Campbelltown in the Grand Final.
Huggo’s senior career at the Demon’s started in earnest the following year in 2002 and by 2007 he had played around 75 games in both the senior and reserve grade sides. In 2002, he was joint winner (with Seb Parker) of the Ken Macrae Shield for the Best Local First Year Player. He was an AFL Sydney representative player in 2003. Between 2008 and 2012, Alex was absent from the Club, owing to consecutive ACL injuries in 2008 and 2009 and also during this period he was busy establishing his construction company. At the time, Huggo believed his footy career was probably finished, particularly as the Club’s third grade side had become defunct at the end of season 2010.
However, with the re-introduction of the third grade side in 2013, Huggo saw this as a perfect opportunity to resume his footy career. Since then, he has played every year, although some seasons his appearances have been patchier than others. Still a talented player, Alex has been content to play most of his recent footy in the lower grades where he has excelled as one of the competition’s most consistent players. Along the way, he has collected two premiership medals in 2013 and 2016 and has been three times his team’s Best & Fairest. Capping it all off, he has twice been voted the best in the League by the umpires, awarded the Armstrong Medal (Division 4) in
2013 and then becoming the inaugural winner of the Granland Medal (Division 5) in 2018.
Not overly endowed with any great height, Alex has played most of his footy as an on-baller or as a small forward. He reckons he can kick proficiently with both feet and for career highlights he says the premiership victories and the after-match celebrations are the best! He was over-joyed to watch Clarkey win last season’s 2018 Reserve Grade Grand Final as coach … so well-deserved! Like many of his team-mates and the fans that watched the 2013 Division 4 Grand Final victory, he has vivid memories of the moment that Phil Hare delivered one of the best shirt-fronts you’d ever hope to see. And, back at Phil’s home after the GF, Huggo recalls watching the video of the shirt-front being replayed about ‘1000’ times … what a GREAT HIT!
Off-field, Huggo comes across as a quiet but friendly and humble personality. He’s recently turned 35, but on-field, he remains a tenacious player and leader, still with heaps of skill and drive for success. He is a joy to watch.
On behalf of everyone at Pennant Hills we wish Huggo the best of luck for his milestone match and congratulate him on this fantastic and well-earned achievement!
ALEX HUGGINS – MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
|Division Five Grand Final 2016 – Blacktown ISP – 4 September 2016
Pennant Hills 10.08-68 defeated UNSW/ES Bulldogs 8.09-57
|Division Four Grand Final 2013 – at Blacktown ISP – 14 September 2013
Pennant Hills 14.11-95 defeated Sydney University 4.04-28
Alex Huggins 1 goal, 3rd best for PH; Evan Danilo Best on Ground
|Premier Division Debut – 1st Semi Final at Roger Sheeran Oval – 9 September 2001
Pennant Hills 8.12-60 lost to St George 12.9-81
|ALEX HUGGINS – CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
(2001 – 07, 2013 – 19)
|50 First Grade
27 Reserve Grade
73 Lower grade
2 Under 18
|Division Four (3rd Grade)
Division Five (4th Grade)
|Granland Medal (Division 5)
Armstrong Medal (Division 4)
Best & Fairest (3rd/5th Grades)
Player’s Player (5th Grade)
Ken Macrae Shield (Best Local First Year Player)
2013, 2014, 2018
2002 (jnt w/Seb Parker)