Talented youngster Pat “Party” McKenna must be having an influence on his hometown of Gisborne with a brand new junior football club adopting the GIANTS’ name and colours for the 2016 season.
McKenna, who played his entire junior career for the Gisborne Rookies, was part of the inspiration behind the newly formed Gisborne GIANTS who will compete in the Riddell District Junior Football Netball League.
The new club - which will be run in conjunction with the Gisborne Rookies - was created to cope with the demand of junior registrations.
President of the Gisborne Rookies Craig Shore said there were a few reasons behind introducing a second junior club in the area.
“We don’t want to see any kids missing out on a game and it’s definitely going to strengthen football talent in the region,” Shore said.
“I think Patty (McKenna) would be proud to see his old club helping to establish another team, but despite the GIANTS name I think he would always consider himself a Gisborne Rookie.
“There’s something recognisable about the GIANTS name that people gravitate to and the colours are obviously very unique.”
Gisborne are the latest club to adopt the GIANTS' name and colours and join more than 20 other community teams who have now taken on the GIANTS name globally.
Other affiliated clubs include the Dongguan GIANTS (China), South East London GIANTS (England), the North Leinster GIANTS (Ireland), the Zaprude GIANTS (Croatia) and the Skane GIANTS (Sweden).
Pat McKenna made his debut for the GIANTS in their first NAB Challenge match against the Western Bulldogs last Thursday.