A key position on the pitch. You get a long line breaking pass from a playmaking half back – you are in space – do you go yourself or do you draw the last line of defence and put your winger away?
As a defender you are often exposed – do you jump out of the defensive line, and make a ball-and-all tackle, or do you hold back and attempt to draw the attacker ?
Here at Dewsbury we have been blessed with a succession of classic men in the number three shirt over the years.
Let us start with a man described as an inspired Jack Addy signing – Chris Mita
Mita was a Kiwi magician who was a key part of the last Dewsbury team to play in the top flight, having been part of the team who got them promoted.
Whilst all coaches are experts on the technical side of the game, you always think as a spectator that a player like Chris Mita should just be given licence to play what he sees.
Very few players can change a game on a whim with a piece of play that simply cannot be coached, but Mita could do that. Absolute class.
We always knew that other clubs would be circling Crown Flatt like vultures and eventually Mita headed east to the Boulevard to thrill the Hull fans.
Another player from a similar mould was Marquis Charles – a native of Wakefield who had the flair of the unexpected to terrify opponents.
Going back a bit further in time we had the fearsome Jack Austin.
He was one of those players who became a cult figure wherever he played – a player who was physical and furious!
Jack gained two winners medals in the BBC2 Floodlit trophy; he was a part of the victorious Castleford team in 1966 and the iconic Bramley team of 1973 that defeated Wakefield, Castleford, St Helens and Widnes to win the trophy in one of the game’s most popular triumphs.
He enjoyed good times at Bradford Northern too, but he will never be forgotten for his wholehearted contribution in Dewsbury colours.
A goal-kicking centre we had was the baby-faced Malcolm Agar.
He had a good career and is still involved in the game around the Castleford district, where he has been a massive contributor on the administration and coaching side at amateur clubs including Castleford Panthers and Townvillle.
One of the club’s latter periods, spent ground-sharing at Batley and the early days at the Tetleys Stadium, saw Tony Marchant in our ranks.
Tony had a distinguished career with Castleford, Bradford & Great Britain.
I always remember Tony saying great things about The Tetley’s Stadium facilities, claiming they were as good as anything the likes of Wigan could offer.
Tony plays in a band and still looks exactly like he did in his playing days !
A couple of fine players from the successful trophy-winning Neil Kelly era were Dan Potter & Brendan Williams.
Dan was amongst the group who left us to go to Widnes when Neil took up the coaching position at The Halton stadium.
I said last week that you always have to look at our 1973 Championship winners for a team full of legends, and number three in that team was local lad John Clark.
John was probably a bit of an unsung hero, but very consistent.
In more recent times we had had Shane Grady in the shirt.
The first time I saw him play he really impressed me. He came to us after being relegated from Super League with London Broncos and he always looked good enough to return to the elite league.
He eventually left us for Halifax before returning to home town club Widnes during the close-season.
Who had the number three role in our last ever game at Crown Flatt? Surprisingly, it was Dean Hall – a guy more likely remembered as a prop.
Who is the current incumbent? None other than crowd favourite Adam Ryder.
I always think that if you turned up at a Rams game, and you had never been before, you would definitely leave having noticed Adam.
Adam is an absolutely wholehearted performer who always gives everything. Renowned for his fitness levels, he is a worthy wearer of a shirt worn with distinction by many.