Forever Green: Where are they now? - David Howell
This week for 'Forever Green: Where are they now?' we caught up with David Howell who represented the club for three seasons between 2005 and 2007.
What do you do for work now?
I'm an interior fitter.
I did a calf injury when I was still playing, when I first started, so I did part of my apprenticeship, two and a half, nearly three years of my apprenticeship when I was at St George.
It's something that I've always enjoyed. I came back to Canberra and Mark Scholes was the president at the Gungahlin Bulls, in the Canberra Raiders Cup. When I finished up in the Super League he got me a job and obviously I played with the Bulls.
What's your favourite memory as a Raider?
There were plenty. We had a fair few close games while I was playing, a couple of close calls. We had a field goal against the Cowboys up there and then one down at Canberra Stadium, probably one of my highlights was I got the last try against the Warriors and then Choc kicked it from the sideline to win it.
I was crook that day and then I was playing fullback and had a few good things that day and a few bad ones as well. I was lucky enough to get the ball out the back on a backline play and I went over in the corner.
What did it mean to you, to where the Raiders jersey?
Coming down here was an opportunity for myself and I dreamed of playing NRL and it meant a lot to me to come down and take that chance in a place I didn't really know. I made my debut down here playing for St George so it meant a lot.
Any club where you're playing top level football means a lot to an individual because that's what you aspire to and that's what you work hard to do day in, day out. It definitely meant a lot to me and I enjoyed playing at the Raiders and I've got plenty of mates and lifelong friends from here.
In deciding to come back after the Super League, it's a great place for kids to grow up, definitely miss the beach though.
Who was your favourite teammate?
I lived with Troy Thompson for a while, he was a larrikin while I was there, him and Josh Miller. I've stayed good mates with Thommo, Lincoln Withers and Matty Gafa, they're all down here in Canberra.
So I'd probably say Thommo who was a bit of a larrikin and I enjoyed my time playing with Toddy still stay in contact with him so I'd probably say those handful of guys are the ones I stay in most contact with.
Do you keep in touch with any of your former teammates?
You always drift apart where you go in different directions but there's probably a good dozen or so blokes that you stay in contact with on a regular basis.
It's a great community, the Rugby League community.
What was your funniest moment as a Raider?
Can't think of one really. There's always been little practical jokes and people playing tricks on each other but nothing really sticks out in my mind.
Thommo did a few and Ryan O'Hara when he was here did a few and he was the life of the party as well as Thommo.
Do you have any advice for younger players?
Probably the biggest thing is to make the most of your opportunities. I was one as a player that had doubts and didn't have the self-belief in my ability. I think you've just got to take every opportunity with both hands and make the most of it because your rugby league career is a short one and if you're lucky enough you can be in it for ten years.
Just make the most of the opportunities and plan for life after football because it can come around very quickly.