Magic's triple threat

ONE is captain, one has been the club’s leading scorer multiple times, and one has been player of the year for the past five seasons.

Between them they have amassed nearly 500 games, and each has won three premiership doubles.

As Broadmeadow Magic gear up for another title assault, their big three of John Bennis, Peter Haynes and Josh Piddington again loom as key figures.

Along with keeper Chris Bowling, they provide the Magic’s spine.

Piddington plays in the heart of defence, Bennis pulls the strings in midfield and Haynes leads the line in attack.

‘‘They have been the backbone of the club for the past seven or so years,’’ coach Damian Smith said.

‘‘Haynesy had a couple of years at Hamilton Olympic, but JB and Piddo have been here since they were teenagers.

‘‘They are each premier players in their position. You wouldn’t swap them for anyone.

‘‘JB has been captain since 2007 and is technically one of the best players in the competition.

‘‘Haynesy is always around the mark as the leading goal-scorer and is also technically strong.

‘‘Piddo is the quiet achiever. Not many people would be aware that he has won our player of the year award the past five years.

‘‘He is super fit, an outstanding one-on-one defender and, for his size [178centimetres], is very strong in the air.’’

Piddington, 25, recently passed the 150-game mark. Bennis, 30, is on 195 games and is scheduled to reach 200 against South Cardiff away in round 14. Haynes, 30, has racked up 122 games.

In his eighth season, Piddington said initially the opportunity to learn from senior players was the main attraction at Magic.

‘‘When I first went there, I looked up to the likes of David Baillie, Ryan Smith and Benn Lane,’’ he said.

‘‘The facilities, the way the club looks after their players, and also the coaching has also been a big factor.

‘‘I haven’t seen the need to go anywhere else.

‘‘I’d like to think I’m maturing into one of the senior players, and hopefully the younger guys are starting to look upon me as a leader.

‘‘It’s good having JB and Haynesy through the centre of the field. We know how each other is going to play, where they are going to be and what to expect.’’

Entering the second round, Magic sit top of the ladder on 24 points, two ahead of the Jets youth team with a game in hand. But Smith is confident the team and his star trio are not yet at the peak of their powers.

‘‘They are top-line players and we expect a lot from them,’’ Smith said.

‘‘I don’t think the three of them have been at their absolute best this year. There is room for improvement. In saying that, if they are having a bad game it is normally as good as most on the park.’’

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