Hard work pays off for Calivil United star

LVFNL BEST: Harding Medal winner Ben Knight will be one of the key players in Saturday's preliminary final against Newbridge. Picture: DARREN HOWE
LVFNL BEST: Harding Medal winner Ben Knight will be one of the key players in Saturday's preliminary final against Newbridge. Picture: DARREN HOWE

A mid-season heart-to-heart chat with star forward Bryce Curnow was the catalyst for Calivil United skipper Ben Knight’s Harding Medal success.

After making a great start to the season, Knight admitted he went through a “rough patch” where he found it hard to get a kick.

“Bryce said to me that I had two options. I could continue to go the way I was or I could train even harder and work through it,’’ Knight said.

“I started training harder and I put more work in at the gym. The hard work looks like it paid off.

“Having good people around the club this year has made me work harder because I see them working harder.”

Knight, 23, enjoyed a stellar second half of the Loddon Valley season.

From rounds nine to 18 he polled 16 votes in the Harding Medal.

He was judged best on ground three times and the only match he didn’t poll a vote in was the Demons’ final round win over Pyramid Hill.

The Harding Medal victory was a proud moment for Knight.

After playing junior footy for North Bendigo, Knight played under-18s with Golden Square before having one year of senior footy with Kyneton.

The pull of family saw him join Calivil United three years ago.

“All my family is from Calivil, so to win the medal for the club was pretty special,’’ Knight said.

“Family is why I went to the club three years ago, so this means a lot to me.”

Ben Knight at Calivil United's training ground at Raywood. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Ben Knight at Calivil United's training ground at Raywood. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Knight’s uncle Glen Richards is a Demons’ club great, while multiple other members of his family have either played or been administrators with the club.

“I wasn’t into footy that much when I was a kid because I played soccer, but I did go out and watch Calivil United win a couple of flags,’’ Knight said.

“It would be nice if we could win a flag for the club this year.”

After enjoying the individual success of the Harding Medal, Knight quickly turned his attention to this Saturday’s preliminary final clash with Newbridge.

After finishing the season on top of the ladder, the Demons are at risk of tumbling out of the finals in straight sets.

“You don’t play for individual success, you play for the premiership cup and that’s what we (Calivil) want,’’ Knight said.

“Newbridge is a very good side, so it’s not going to be easy for us to get over the line.

“If we can play our footy and get our running game going, then I think we can win the game.”

Saturday’s preliminary final is at Marist College in Maiden Gully.