Will to win backed with great support

Taieri wing Shannon Young in action  against Alhambra-Union at the North Ground last month. Photo...
Taieri wing Shannon Young in action against Alhambra-Union at the North Ground last month. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Shannon Young is a rugby centurion - he has played more than 100 premier games for Green Island and Taieri.

Young (31), a freezing worker, made his debut for Green Island in 2008 and played two seasons for the club before switching to Taieri in 2010.

He has played 30 games for Green Island and 77 for Taieri.

Young is an exciting counter-attacking wing who keeps opposition defence on their toes.

He was a member of the Taieri teams that won premier banners in 2011 and 2012.

''It was a fairytale for me in 2011 to get a championship medal,'' Young said.

Shannon Young.
Shannon Young.
''A lot of guys don't win banners.

''It was great to win one but to back it up the next year was fantastic.''

The Taieri club has rejuvenated Dunedin club rugby since it returned to premier ranks in 2009, and has the best crowd support in the city.

''We grow an extra arm and a leg when we are playing at home at Peter Johnstone Park,'' Young said.

''There is always at least 1000 supporters on the bank and they lift us when we are down.''

Young believes that Taieri can win another banner this year.

''I'd like to think so. But there is a long way between now and semifinal time.

''First things first. We have to reach our first goal and make the top four. There are a lot of good teams.''

Taieri was just a run-of-the-mill club when it pulled out of the premier competition in 2000.

At that time young players from the Taieri Plains preferred to join inner-city clubs.

It has changed since Taieri regained premier ranks in 2009 and city kids now come out to Mosgiel to join the Taieri club.

''We've got strong community support out here and we have great coaches and great management staff,'' Young said.

''There is a strong belief out here and a will to win.

''We have strong support on the bank and our supporters stick around and join us in the clubrooms after the game.

''Since Taieri has come back into premiers we have been able to hold on to the local talent. We are building great depth out here on the plains.''


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