Hornets add sting
COMING to the Northern Rivers after living in South Africa for nine years, new Goonellabah Hornets signing Erik Leinius rates his new surroundings akin to living in paradise.
And with the German-born Leinius settled in Alstonville and in a peaceful head space, expect the 30-year-old to be a vital cog in the Hornets’ defensive machine.
“Doing my high schooling and university in South Africa, me and my girlfriend needed to get away from the political and economic instability there and the Northern Rivers was the perfect move,” he said.
“The weather is lovely. It’s like living in paradise and I love getting outdoors.
“I work on macadamia farms around the region and I’m waiting on a new job offer, which will hopefully keep me out here for another four years.
“I’d love to stay at the Hornets.”
Leinius might come from Germany, where football is followed religiously, but he could not be happier at the Hornets.
“I’m blown away by our facilities. Our playing field and change rooms are great,” the former SG Sued Kreis player said.
SG Sued Kreis finished top of its division while playing in the Bezirks Liga in 2009.
“In Germany we like to play a more strategic, passing style,” Leinius said.
“Out here the Hornets like to attack more and I love that. I’m enjoying learning a new style.
“There’s a high level of professionalism at the club and I can’t wait to play for them.”
After training with Goonellabah for the past few weeks, Leinius is waiting on a clearance to play locally. He hopes that comes before Saturday’s away match against Ballina.
Hornets coach Mark Ambler is thrilled to have Leinius on board.
“He’s a good athlete, like our other German recruit for this year, Achim Christ,” Ambler said.
“He’s big and strong and a good character to have around the club.”
The Hornets have suffered wretched luck because of so much recent rain. They have a handful of games they must catch up on but still sit second on the premier league ladder.
“The boys just have a lot of character,” Ambler said.
“Since January we’ve consistently had 26 to 28 people turn up to training.”