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Rugby Stalwart calls it a day

By Gary Caffell
Johnie McFadzean is first and foremost a team man.
And that’s why the 32-year-old Carterton skipper is keen to play down the fact he will be retiring from all club rugby after his team’s Tui Cup premier division final match against Greytown at Memorial Park on Saturday.
“It’s nice to be bowing out with such a big game but it’s more about the team, getting this far doesn’t come down to the efforts of any one individual. Everybody has to do their bit and that’s the way it has been with us. The whole squad, management and players, deserve the credit, not just me.”
Loath as he is to accept personal praise there is no doubt Johnie McFadzean’s contribution to the Carterton cause in 2016 has been immense. Usually at No 8 he has been a regular winner of lineout ball, a powerful runner, both from the base of the scrum and in broken play, and a stoic defender.
McFadzean admits calling an end to a rugby career which has seen him play well over 100 premier division games for Carterton and make 49 first-class appearances for Wairarapa-Bush was on his mind at the start of the 2016 club season.
It wasn’t so much that he was tired of the game but managing the family farm and wanting to spend more time with his family had become greater priorities.
“You have to give up at some stage and I thought I’d have one more season with Carterton and leave it at that. Obviously I’ll miss it but there are other things to focus on.”
McFadzean never doubted Carterton could build on the excellent progress they made last season and lodge a strong challenge for the Tui Cup this time round.
“I have to say getting to the final was hot on the agenda. I knew we had the management and the players to go that far, it was just a matter of us all being prepared to do the hard yards and that hasn’t been a problem. The environment has been excellent, we all go out there and play for each other and I think that’s been the key to our success.”
McFadzean is happy Carterton are facing defending champions Greytown in the competition decider, not because he believes his team necessarily has the measure of them but because the two clubs have been arch rivals over many, many years and there is very seldom little in it on the scoreboard. As has been the case this season with their two qualifying round clashes ending in a win apiece.
“We enjoy playing them and I think anybody who looks at the two teams will see how evenly matched we are right across the board, forwards and backs. In that sense there should be absolutely nothing in it.”
McFadzean welcomes the match being played on the artificial turf as it suits the style of both teams who like to play an attacking brand rugby of rugby but he sees the end result perhaps depending on the two Ds, defence and discipline.
Defence because any lapses would probably mean tries being scored and discipline because both teams have goal kickers capable of banging them over from anywhere inside opposition territory.
If it is Carterton who have their noses in front at the game’s end there will be big celebrations in the McFadzean family as Johnie’s two younger brothers, Lachie and Corey will be playing alongside him. According to Johnie, however, there is no doubt among the trio who is boss, both at work and on the rugby field.
“I’m the oldest and they do what they are told….well that’s my story anyway.”

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