Inside the House – Ben Leske

He’s the No.12 for Power House, he’s big-bad-bustling…. and he lifts! He’s Ben Leske – Big Dog.

Ben recently took some time out to give us an insight into his time in footy and at the Power House Amateur Football Club.

Ben was born in QLD, and moved to Adelaide when he was 8 – this is where his love of AFL began.  Ben’s family then moved to Mildura for his father’s work as a School Principal, he was 13 at the time and quickly fell in love with the country lifestyle – especially the sport/river life.

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Big Dog – Staring down an opponent!

Coming down from the country Ben first arrived at Power House a month out from the 2010 season, accompanied by his side kicks Jacob Avery and Andrew Kuhanez who were also from Mildura. He came across PHAFC via a google search and after making enquiries he was soon contacted by President Nic Pavlou, Pav did his best sales pitch and invited the boys down for a session. When asked about his first impressions of PHAFC Ben was glowing in his response – “Loved it!” he said, “I intended to come down for a session and try other clubs within the area.  Loved the PHAFC culture and I haven’t looked at another club anywhere since my first session!!”

The 2010 season was a successful one for Power House with both teams making finals, the senior coach at the time Martin Pike liked what he saw in Ben and he was soon a crucial part of the senior team, the rock in defence if you will! Whilst PHAFC has provided many highlights, 2010 Ben experienced his biggest disappointment at the club to date – “Playing finals football in my first season with PHAFC was great, but missing the GF by a kick and not playing in a finals series since really hurts.” He said.

When asked what his favourite memory of PHAFC was it was a much easier answer – “The feeling after every Power House win, especially at Ross Gregory oval!!” he quipped.

After a couple of strong seasons Ben was voted in as Captain for the 2012 season, when asked What was the experience like stepping up to being Captain? Ben acknowledged “it’s one of the biggest honours of my life.  I’ll forever be thankful for the opportunity to lead our great club!”

Being at PHAFC for many years now and having a great love for the club; Ben went on to explain that it’s more than just a football club – “The people within the club.  Not only are my best mates at the club to train and play with on a weekly basis but seeing the past players at the club and seeing the enjoyment they get when the Power House boys have a win!!”. Being a fitness nut and a sucker for great scenery Ben also went on to say “Our location is like no other also.  We’re so lucky to have ‘the lake’ during pre-season & city views from the club room balcony are like no other club”.

Preseason fun: Ben Leske looking good at training with Ricky Webb

We threw some questions at Ben to get his thoughts on few things:

Where did the nickname ‘Big Dog’ come from?

Well I first called Tanj Saraw Big Dog during a drill at training one night, then he turned around and said  “you’re The Big Dog”, the boys jumped on it and it’s stuck ever since…

Who is the most annoying team mate?

Michael Webb’s flatulence during the Coach’s addresses is pretty bad….  And although I never played with him- Scratchers jokes are terrible!!!

How would you describe last season?

A step in the right direction.  For all the effort done behind the scenes (voluntarily) Power House deserves greater on field success.  2014 is our year!!!

Expectations for this season?

Finish top 4 after H&A season before a strong finals campaign and my first grand final with Power House!  Anything less will be sub-par and not accepted.

Who has impressed you on the track so far this pre-season?

Seeing fresh faces on the track is always exciting, especially when they’re leading the ‘lake runs’.  Sammy Confait has fit in extremely well and is all class.  Stuart Shanks is looking extremely fit and looking to continue on from his stellar 2013 season!!  Stubsy always looks good with the footy in his hands and is set for big 2014!

Thoughts on the senior coach and what has impressed you during his short time at the club?

Ant is a true professional and is 100% on getting Power House up the ranks within VAFA.  His dedication to match days, trainings, meetings, emails & phone calls is like none other and we’re incredibly lucky to have Ant leading Power House forward!!

Thoughts on recruitment and your efforts there?

Recruitment is an ongoing challenge for all clubs, especially Power House due to the number of clubs within close proximity.  The major challenge is getting new blokes down for a run, past years has shown that once exposed to our clubs culture it’s hard to look anywhere else to play.  Once you’re down at the ‘House, why would you want to leave!!!!

There is currently a recruitment subcommittee leading the push for recruitment, meeting and corresponding on a regular basis.  Our greatest strength is our Power House network and all players are encouraged to do their bit drawing new players down to the club.

Ben Leske Power House Stats:

  • Debut: Round 1, 2010
  • Games: 72
  • Goals: 12

2011 Runner up Senior Best and Fairest

Senior Captain 2012-13

Ben is currently an Engineer with Kersulting, specifically working in Managing/designing of structural and civil projects.

Thanks to Ben for his time, stay tuned for more interviews from ‘Inside the House’.