When someone in the rugby league community finds out you are a Dyball or related to a Dyball from the Binalong area, it can be a head turning moment.

You see, the Dyballs have been at the forefront of some of the most fearsome defence the area has seen, and it started all the way back with great grandfather Jost Dyball, who was the first of 3 generations to play for the Binalong Brahmans until Saturday. Born in 1920, Jost passed away in 2007, however, he left an undeniable mark on his offspring who share his name as well as the other descendants who followed who don’t, but are closely related.

Dane and father Jason playing Touch Football at Harden, where the side took out the A Grade competition.

17 year old Dane Howard made his debut for the Binalong Brahmans on Saturday in what was a win against a tough Crookwell side. He is Jost’s great grandson and is now the 4th generation to play for the mighty Brahmans.

Dane has been lucky enough to play all of his Rugby League under father Jason at Yass and will hopefully get to share the field with Jason this year at Binalong, the family’s spiritual home. He spent one year in Canberra when Yass couldn’t field a side. He was 4 when he started and had two years in the U6s.

Mum Michelle Howard, nee Dyball said, “He can play anywhere but over the last four years he has played mainly Second Row.”

Dane’s father Jason in the back row, 5th from the left.

Dane’s father Jason Howard has a long history with both Binalong and Harden as do most of the family, including Dane’s second cousins and extended uncles. Michelle  has played League tag for the Jersey Girls for years, both during good times and bad for the club. One thing is for sure, this family doesn’t give up until the final whistle.

Michelle’s cousin and former Brahman and current Hawks President of 10 years Jason Pollard with Peter Williams in 2010. Jason has continued his distinguished career as a player with coaching and administration. He is seen here playing up to the camera with Harden’s English import ‘Pete the Pom’

Dane’s grandfather Robert ‘Dibbie’ Dyball could hit them hard. They would stay hit. It’s not necessarily the size of the Dyballs or the Howards which makes them such effective footballers.

Dane and grandfather Robert Dyball.

     It’s their tenacity and their timing. It’s the fact that when the hard runs need to be taken off the sides’ own try line into a wall of defence, the first hand that goes up is from one of these mob.

If they don’t get the run they get dirty on themselves for not sacrificing themselves for the side.

You could say that some of the family can perform circus tricks, and you need to read closely.

Dane’s uncle Ashley played for Riverina in the all conquering side who defeated every other region in NSW in U18s in the early 2000s. He played in the forwards and heavily in the Front Row, before playing Fullback for Harden in Group 9 the following year. Talk about versatile!

Dane’s uncle Ashley with his son. Ashley continued to carve out a solid career in Queensland after a number of years in Harden with Group 9 before George Tooke.

In a game against Albury, a much larger Winger made a break and Ashley came across to make the try saving tackle. The Albury Winger made the mistake of trying to step back inside Ashley who used his timing to implement what was then a perfectly timed use of his shoulder and a legal tackle. The Albury chap did a complete back flip and landed face down as the crowd went in to a hush. Albury had a new found respect for the Harden Fullback.

Michelle’s three brothers all played for both towns including Ashley, Craig and Roger who all hit hard and left them hit hard.

Michelle said, “Jason’s family all came from the Tumut area and he has played for Harden and Binalong himself. He was versatile, playing in the halves and centres. On the weekend Dane came off the bench and it was a rolling bench where players could come on and off. They did a special presentation and said he is definitely a Dyball.”

Dane is around the 80 kilogram mark and Michelle said the tackling has not skipped a generation and he is also very quick, which comes from his father’s side.

Michelle joked, “He and his father are always talking football, they drive me mad.”

Dane and father Jason when Dane was playing for the Yass Magpies.

“It’s not very often you see four generations play for the one club.”

On Saturday Michelle said, “Dane played his debut game today for the Binalong Brahmans!!

A very special day for him as he is my family’s 4th generation to run out on the field for Binalong!!

My Pop (Jost Dyball)

My Dad (Robert Dyball)

My 3 brothers (Roger, Craig, Ashley Dyball)

And now my son (Dane Howard)

Being proud is an understatement!!

Big thanks to the club for doing a presentation for Dane and presenting him his jersey!!

What a great football club!!

Keep an eye out for Dane Howard in 2024 as he embarks on his career.