The 2017 hockey season is proving to be another great one for the Newtown Hockey Club. Membership numbers are increasing, and we regularly welcome new players to the Club, with 60 new players joining or rejoining the Club for this winter hockey season. Enthusiasm among junior teams is at a high level, and fantastic attendances at training are showing results on the field.
Thanks to all involved for your efforts – players, coaches, team managers, umpires, committee members, parents and supporters. Well done, and keep it up.
The Kookas games are an ideal opportunity to promote the sport of hockey, and prove that hockey is a family game that you can play at any age. The main aim of the Kookas games is to provide an opportunity for junior players to participate in a less structured game. The games also provide an alternative for those who have other commitments at the weekend. However, as the format is flexible and rules can be adjusted to suit the participants, we regularly have adults joining in to boost the numbers. So this week’s game again included players aged from 6 to 60+.
The younger players are not daunted by the presence on the field of bigger opponents, and our youngest player Lenny, again showed his enthusiasm, getting to the ball quickly and making some great passes. Braydn is showing great attention to the play, and with a cool head, is proving a very effective defender. Great ball control skills and running to space by Charlie and Ebony, with Tom and Emily always ready to support their team mates each week. Game strategies and passing skills are developing well, leading to an enjoyable game with lots of friendly rivalry.
Under 6 Joeys
Our Joeys players are learning some great skills, and showing plenty of enthusiasm for the concept of maintaining possession of the ball, and not letting the opposition get it. These dribbling skills are backed up by passing skills and learning to run to a new space, when playing ‘keepings off’.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Raiders
Spirit players put in arguably their best performance of the hockey season when they met Raiders in Under 8 competition at Lloyd Reserve on Saturday. Spirit clicked as a team, with both sides showing developing skills during the fast and friendly showdown between the Newtown stablemates. Avah, Summah and Drew formed a strong line of defence at half back and were instrumental in driving the ball forward into attack right from the starting whistle. And attack Spirit did – time and time again.
Centre forward Michael was on fire. He showcased his impressive range of skills to the spectators on the sidelines, keeping his stick down on the ground as he moved forward relentlessly and went back for second and third efforts with enthusiasm.
With Pollyanna and Juliette roaming dangerously out wide on the wings, the team worked well together. Drew, who fired off some lovely passes, and Michael combined beautifully in a couple of quick breaks while Avah was a pivotal part of Spirit’s attack as usual. Braydn was a valuable contributor at full back, on one occasion cleanly stopping a strong opposition shot on goal and clearing the ball out wide to the left. It was also encouraging to hear calling on the field.
At half time Coach Kellie told Spirit players they were doing a beautiful job. She set them the tasks of marking the Raiders players a little more and looking to see where Spirit team mates were on the field before attempting to pass. She also said three Spirit players had to touch the ball before any shot was made on goal, then sent the team out for the second half with positions largely unchanged.
While Spirit enjoyed a lot of attack after half time, Raiders displayed strong defence, making the match a great one to watch. Pollyanna, Michael and Avah joined forces on several occasions. In a stand-out passage of play Drew delivered a cracking free hit to Juliette who ran into a space to receive the ball before pushing it onwards towards the goals. Summah also added handy pressure up forward in front of goals.
After the final whistle Coach Kellie told her young team the second half had contained “some really fabulous play” characterised by strategic passes, good running and strong marking. Michael received the Subway Best Team Player award after giving 100 per cent the entire game and showing great skills. Well done Michael.
Newtown Raiders vs Newtown Spirit
The best game of the hockey season so far for Newtown Raiders, with players having taken on board the message of ‘concentrate on the play at all times’. The first half saw some great concentration on the ball and on the play, with Raiders doing some great marking of the Spirit players. With all players keeping their sticks on the ground, there were some good forward moves, with Chloe, Lily and Jesse gaining possession and taking the ball into attack. Great defence by Charlotte stopped a number of Spirit attacks, and her quick free passes using both sides of the field allowed Oscar and Isabelle to find space and initiate forward moves. Great running and perseverance by Oscar saw some excellent passages of play for Raiders.
Subway Player of the Day award went to Oscar.
Newtown Rebels vs Torquay
Rebels had a fantastic match this week against Torquay and showed great improvement from the early hockey season games. In the first half there was an early attack from Torquay, however Rebels then gained confidence with Sophie B, Sophie E and Genevieve moving forward. It was a fast-paced game and Rebels showed great tenacity, passing well and keeping Torquay under constant pressure.
At half-time Coach Penny stressed the importance of Rebels keeping their sticks down and chasing the ball. Torquay again started strongly in the second half but Paddy and Aiden worked well together in defence. Audrey, Neve and Annabelle all added to the Rebel’s attack. All in all, Rebels showed a much-improved performance this week with everyone getting stuck in!
Paddy was awarded Subway Player of the Week for his great work in goal and when defending.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Kookaburras
Another excellent game from Strikers, with all players showing great teamwork and great effort.
Under 10 South
Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 0-0
What a fantastic effort from everyone and a very different score to last time we met Golden Plains. Anna made some some great saves in goals, sending the ball wide and out of danger. Amelia and Thamindu backed up Anna in the back line and kept the pressure on, didn’t give up and successfully defended all short corners. Eliza never gave up and put pressure on Golden Plains throughout the entire game. Elliott, Isla, Eliza May and Ruby worked well together switching from defensive to offensive play and calling to each other.
Charlie continued to work on his stick skills and following on with the ball. Alex again managed to push the ball between the opposition’s feet. Isabel found herself under pressure during the game and stepped up to the challenge. Amber and Emma rotated roles during the game and focused on their ball control with keeping their sticks on the ground.
We still need to ensure we pass wide especially in front of goals and being in front of an opponent during any penalty shots. Best Team Player Awards went to Eliza and Isla.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay Tornadoes 0-0
What a great game….Coach Kellie’s comment at half time was “What a killer first half”. We had excellent clearance of the ball with 2nd and 3rd efforts at the ball. Sticks were down low, small taps were effective at stopping Torquay’s momentum. Kellie wanted the team to work on getting ahead of the ball to give us a run on an open goal, marking a player at all times, and moving down the right side of the field as this plays to the opposition’s weaker side. A scoreless first half with great defence by Spirit as there was a lot of play down the opposition’s goal end.
The second half saw us open up the field, with a lot more play spread across the field. We were trusting ourselves and our team mates better which meant we were able to carry the ball further down the field. Excellent plays were seen. Tackling was great, low passes, great skills, enthusiasm, good positioning and we continued to work the opposition hard. It was a great game to watch from the sidelines with lots of praise after the game to the players from the parents and spectators. Scores 0:0.
Awards were very difficult for Kellie to give out (she wanted to cut them in 1/6 so that everyone could get one). Best team player went to Surry. Subway Players of the Day went to Nate and Charlotte.
Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Spirit 0-2
The derby between Newtown Rebels and Newtown Spirit saw Spirit walk away as winners. It was an important game as the winner would move one game ahead on the ladder. The score of 2-0 does not show how closely the game was played. For Rebels, Teijai was excellent in goals. Sam and Basyl were outstanding, moving the ball quickly and keeping Spirit on their toes. Spirit’s defence stood up to numerous attacks from Rebels. Spirit’s goalie was perhaps the difference between the two teams, booting the goal to safety on several occasions. At the end of the day, the highlight of the game was sportsmanship shown by both teams, who were equally as quick to put out a hand to the opposition. Well done to both teams!!!
Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine Thunder 0-3
This week’s match against Bellarine Thunder proved to be a learning experience for Newtown Strikers. Our first half was disappointing, conceding 3 goals to the opposition. Our team seemed to lose their way a bit and forget skills learned in training. They made a few poor decisions with their passing and didn’t communicate enough. To their credit though the team rallied together in the second half and improved their game play to keep Bellarine goaless.
Chloe played her best game of the hockey season so far, holding her position and getting involved in a lot of the play. She also narrowly missed scoring a goal and assisted in another near miss by Alice. Cameron and Gil also put in good performances with some great passing shots and tackling the opposition to win the ball. So, although it wasn’t our best game played this hockey season, there were moments of good play and teamwork in the second half. One important thing our team learned this week is to never underestimate the opposition.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 3-1
It was a nice sunny Sunday morning for Newtown Spirit’s Round 6 clash against Newtown Strikers. With Grace and Claudia away, we only had 1 sub for the game, but our regular goalie Max was back. The teams were evenly matched and early attacks through the middle from Nick and Harry were not able to penetrate Strikers’ defence. The Strikers speed into attack was dangerous but the defenders held strong. Jamie showed his versatility with some good clearances of the ball in defence.
Mid-way through the first half we were able to get a score on the board with a great tomahawk from Will. This fired Strikers up and they immediately levelled scores 1-all a minute later. Riley and Harley did some great defending to lock the ball in our forward half but we were unable to capitalise again to half time.
The coach at half-time said he was really pleased to see some lovely passing on left and right sides of the pitch, and he asked for better coverage of the mid-field due to Strikers fast breaks. He wanted the wings to stay wide in order to spread the Strikers defenders out in the circle, and where our attacks couldn’t get through due to congestion, to throw the ball backwards.
In the second half, Spirit went 2-1 up with a nice goal from Harry. Strikers responded by drawing 2 short corners, but Spirit defended well and prevented a score. Jamie added another goal to give Spirit a 3-1 lead. Coach Carl was really pleased with the team’s efforts in what was a good, close contest. Areas to concentrate on in the next game are for the team to spread out into space, and to look up more to see who is free.
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 1-3
A great match, won by Newtown Spirit, but very close up until the last 15 minutes. Oscar scored an amazing goal, and Angus put in some great defensive play.
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 1-2
Round 6 was the second clash between Newtown and Kardinia for this hockey season, with the teams having previously met in Round 1 with a victory to Newtown. Kardinia were still without a goal keeper, however there were a few new faces on their team. Newtown had one of the U14 goal keepers Max available for the game, so it was going to be interesting to see how the game panned out with the playing list changes.
Kardinia surprised Newtown early with their speed up the field and were on the scoreboard in quick time. They dominated possession in the first half and Newtown were deprived of any real opportunities on goal.
Newtown lifted the tempo in the second half resulting in a more even split of possession and territory. Both teams had shots on goal and short corners early in the half, but the scoreboard wasn’t bothered until the curtains opened on the Harry and Miles show. A brilliant ball was delivered to Harry just over half way and he weaved his magic around a couple of Kardinia players twice his size, before delivering the ball to Miles for an encore display of ducking and weaving, and finally a goal. Despite the theatrics on field and hysteria amongst the Newtown supporters, Kardinia scored a second goal not long after from scrappy play in front of the Newtown goal and the game ended with a 2:1 victory to Kardinia.
Great effort by all and looking forward to more excitement in future games. Thanks to Max and Ollie for joining our ranks on the day, we appreciate your support.
Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 4-1
We had the luxury of having a player on the bench this week thanks to Tom C filling in. We started the game a little sluggishly and a couple of the Golden Plains forwards were playing very high which created a few vulnerable moments early in the game. However Ollie, Rachael and Byron kept their forwards accountable and limited their scoring, often having to tag two of their forwards each.
We settled down after 10 minutes and once we started using our wings in Tom M and Sam, the game started to open up and we were able to start bringing the ball forward; eventually earning the first goal of the match. Tom M and Declan worked well together communicating well and switching positions regularly down the right side of the field to confuse the opposition. This worked well for both of them and at the end of the game they had both scored a goal each.
Strikers continue to work very well as a team. We worked hard off the ball and were always looking out for each other. All players continue with the second and third efforts (some times fourth) even when things have not gone to plan. Byron and Angus both demonstrated excellent examples of putting continued pressure on the opposition when the chips were down. Great work once again Strikers.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Saints Black 5-2
Falcons began slowly, and at times were a little slow to react to the strong opposition provided by Saints. Some tussles in the play saw some of our players disadvantaged. However Falcons showed a great work ethic, and without saying a word, stood up, shook themselves off and started to work on free hits, calling and general skills. This proved the key to turning the match around, and at half time, the score was 1-1.
A change of positions was needed, and the team came out with renewed vigor and effort. There was some great switching, and fantastic one touch hockey led to a goal, and the score was 2-1. Saints came back to equalise at 2-2. But Falcons went up a gear, with plenty of calling from our defence to our forwards, resulting in another goal to Falcons – 3-2. A couple of short corners followed, and one led to another goal 4-2. The last goal was scored from a quick break and the final score was 5-2.
Goals to Darren 2, Sean 1, Gus 1, Hamish 1. Thanks to Darren, Carl and Alex for filling in.
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay Tornadoes 1-2
Another week, another frustratingly close loss for the Strikers. This week though, the overall endeavour of the team as a whole was more consistent and although the end result was a loss, we had more possession and scoring opportunities than the opposition.
These are all positive points, the tough part now is working out how to capitalise on our opportunities so that we can get back to winning these close games. Big thanks to Daniel and Richard who stepped in to fill our vacancies this week. Hopefully a few of our ongoing injuries will have time to heal over the Queens birthday weekend and we can come back fresh and ready to play.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons – Bye
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Jaguars 0-8
Division 2 Men
Newtown Spirit vs Saints Red 2-0
Coach Fitzy was back in town to take on the task of coaching Spirit against undefeated Saints. Thanks to Gordo for coaching the team the week before to a well earned draw in a bruising encounter. Young gun Callum is nursing an injured knee. All the best Cal for a speedy recovery.
Birse father and son combo Don and Brodie were solid in defence keeping out some promising Saints forward moves. Fantastic field goals by elder statesmen Gwyn and Ian were well deserved after team link ups in mid field. Half backs Adam, Beau and Alex provided drive to forwards Woodsy, Tim, Gordo and Luke.
Both teams were missing regular players. This win keeps Spirit well and truly in the hunt for a finals berth, but this won’t just happen without continued improvement. Passing stick to stick and leading to space are areas to keep working on.
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 3-2
A very happy day for Newtown Spirit, earning our first win for this hockey season. We should probably mention that Torquay were short of players, but Spirit players took advantage of this to create some great passages of play. Perseverance and repeated defence efforts to meet the ball early saw Rachel, Wendy, Andie and Beth block many of Torquay’s forward moves. Great pressure on the ball carrier by Kellie and Peta and thoughtful passing to players in space produced some great switching.
Great running to gain possession by Georgie, Jacquie and Lauren and once in possession, determination to hold the ball and move quickly to attack put pressure on the Torquay defence, forcing them to make a number of saves. Katie and Kirsty kept the pressure on too, always looking for team mates to pass to. Great marking by Newtown Spirit, and with less opposition to cover, occasionally too many players moved to get the ball. Goals scored by Peta (2) and Kellie.
Great work team. Thanks to Rachel, Georgie and Jacquie for filling in.