2020 Hockey Season – July 25/26

Stay Safe and Keep Playing Hockey

The committees of our club and of the Geelong Hockey Association are very aware of the need to maintain safe operating and playing practices to keep our hockey community safe. If we continue to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus, it is more likely that we will be able to keep playing hockey.

Please read the information provided by the Geelong Hockey Association and comply with all safe practices.

In a hockey season where we are taking it 1 week at a time, there has been some excellent hockey on display from all teams.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Saints

Crisp, clear and chilly conditions met the 9 excited Strikers players at King Lloyd Reserve for Round 2 of the U8 competition. New players Georgia and Sophie were a tad nervous but quickly joined in and played well.

With the Saints team short on numbers, a few Strikers showed excellent sportsmanship volunteering to play with them. With most players moving between teams the game was played with enthusiasm, skill and excitement. Oscar and Braxton passed, tackled and moved the ball forward excellently setting up numerous scoring opportunities. Lucy was using her voice very well and moved into space a number of times to receive the ball – well done.
During the second half Eddy was moved into defence for a rest but couldn’t be left out of the play with a strong tackle in defence and then dribbled the length of the field to score – great work Eddy! Summah and Joseph chased hard and did some great passes forward to their team mates. With some encouragement at half time, Casper helped his team mates warm their fingers up which led to many great plays down the field. He also made some great runs and passes forward.
Throughout the game players from both teams showed excellent sportsmanship helping all players become involved.

A focus for next week’s game will be to continue the awesome positive team approach and to start using the flat stick tackle, back stick dribble and moving into space. If parents/guardians can have a game/hit in the backyard during the week that’d be great. Go Strikers!!

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay

Both teams had plenty of players so there was some interchange action happening. Playing against a very young Torquay team it was very pleasing to see the co-operative spirit in the game from our players. Even after 1 week of being back playing, the players are gaining confidence and regaining skills and strategic play. Isaac ran hard to get the ball, and was quickly looking for passes to team mates. With sticks on the ground when approaching the ball, Spirit players were able to gain possession on many occasions and Albie, Kai, Poppy and Olive created some forward moves which looked very promising. Cate and Olivia were again in great position on the wings, and a lovely trap by Olivia and a pass down the length of the field allowed her team to move into attack.

Great work from Albie and Kai who were under pressure in defence during the game, with some very near misses by Torquay.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-4

Spirit started the game well with some strong attacking play but soon became bogged down in the crowded centre of the pitch.  Michael had an early shot on goal which just missed and then Torquay took advantage of some gaps in the Spirit defence to get the first goal, and one more followed before half time.

Some positional changes at half time helped Newtown break out of the pack and Josien was able to get their only goal of the match. Towards the end of the game there was some good passing and use of space from the forward line and midfield. The final score of 1-4 didn’t reflect the effort of the team, but there a few things to work on for next week!

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 0-2

Thanks to Manny for volunteering to fill in for Newtown Spirit, leaving us with 11 players. The effort from all players was excellent, with many very keen to get the ball. However, this led to a tendency to crowd the play, and passes to team mates were often short distance and not very powerful, making it easier for Kardinia to defend. A great first game by Ivy, who showed excellent ball control skills, running into attack and looking for team mates to pass to. A very determined Paige was working hard to gain possession whenever the ball came near her.

Marking of opposition forwards is improving, but despite this, Kardinia managed to sneak behind our defence to score. The second half saw more passes directed toward the wings with Anessa, Harrison and Sofia working well together on the right.

Players were doing a great job of looking for their team mates, but recognition of space and leading to space is one thing we can work on. With some greater distance between team mates and firmer passes, the team will be able to move the ball more freely in future games.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Rebels vs Torquay 0-1.

Despite a three-degree starting temperature there was sizzling play all over the field with the play of the day from Elliott who while minding the left post was beaten by numbers and saved the goal in the right corner with her stick then flicked it away. Best save of the year material and as a result best and fairest goes to you  – awesome work.

Strong defence was led by Ruby who denied the opposition forwards on numerous occasions. Also strong in defence was Brandon with some strong traps that had the opposition running past without the ball. Covering the centre and much territory was Eliza who moved the ball elegantly to the forward line. The left side of the field is a zone Alex is now comfortable with, and continued to make accurate passes, remember you can hit the ball. What a whirlwind was Matilda filling in for the team this week, so close to scoring a goal many times as she harried the opposition defence. Jacob was always were he needed to be so the free hitters had a great option every time.

For her first game of the season Isabelle started slowly but came into form in the second half making great position and tackles. Also, back this week was Emma with her trademark sneaky runs to make position in attack. Once again Serena made great position and hassled the opposition with the ball. Maddison’s strong passes and great tackles set her team mates up for dynamic plays. Fast on his feet, River was the consummate player happily changing roles as requested by coach he played both defender and attacker, great work.

What a close game, with Torquay having five interchanges it was tired legs that saw the Rebels go down one goal to nil. Great work everyone.

Coaches tip: Next week on opposition free hits mark your player (stand just in front and on their stick side) and keep your sticks on the ground.

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 6-1

We had a great turnout at training, and Kurt did some great work helping the kids to understand where the “space” is, how to move into space, and how to find a player in space. This paid off in spades in this week’s game, with all the kids showing great awareness of where the space was, and great ball movement around the field.

The team effort levels were amazing, with many repeat efforts, and this really proved the difference in the one on one battles.

Some great ball movement out wide, and a slick pass into Surry saw us on the board with a great shot on goal. Chloe and Amelia were doing a stellar job in defence, ensuring Mai was well supported in the goals. Isabel provided some excellent intercept work through the middle, and fast run out of defence, linking up with Avah, Will and Meyah to break the Kardinia defence and run us back into attack.

Charlotte again provided good wide running and put the ball into dangerous positions for our forwards to pounce. Valentina showed some excellent trapping skills, redirecting the ball for our running forwards. Surry, Will and Zac all continued to pepper the goals throughout the game, and although we missed some very gettable goals, we remained in a strong position right throughout the game. Zac finished the game with a double, and although Surry finished with 4, his many attempts to feed off to other players, shows the maturity he has developed as a hockey player.

The encouragement the team showed towards each other was excellent, and very enjoyable to see!

After a game like Saturday, it is very hard to find a key focus for our next game, other than to say more of the same please! The kids really worked together, moving the ball around the field and ran hard all game.

Newtown Spirit vs Saints 4-1

Round 2 kicked off with another display of great teamwork, good positioning, accurate passing and confident attacking. Plenty of hard running by forwards Annabelle, Amelia, Leo, Hugh and Bella. Meanwhile, our half backs Charlotte, Baxter and Ruby worked hard defending and counter attacking to keep the ball down our goal end for the majority of the game. Saints played a strong game, defending well and making some hard and fast attempts at goal. Full backs, Ruben and Hamish K were quick to defend with strong tackling and accurate passes back to our players. Hamish S in goals made a couple of brilliant saves when Saints got a good run in past our defence. Making the choice to run out or stay in when you’re the last in line of defence can’t be easy but Hamish has proven he can do both with skill and aptitude. Clever positioning and a strong, accurate push saw Amelia shoot the first goal of the match before half time.

The second half saw an increased confidence and drive with two further goals from Bella (a deflection after a strong pass in from Ruby) and Amelia in quick succession. Saints fought back with some rival teamwork to score their first and only goal. The latter half of the match saw more picture-perfect teamwork from all with strong running, passing and stick skills in use. Great running, wide positioning and determined tackling was seen from Annabelle who had one of her best matches. The final seconds of the match saw one last hard go at goals with Bella sneaking one past the Saints goalie to make the score 4-1 to Newtown.

Well done to all the team on your individual and team efforts, keep up the practise, energy and momentum!

Acknowledgements to Nate who was once again to be found restless on the sidelines watching and cheering on his fellow teammates, with luck he will be back on the field next weekend! Gratitude to Amelia and Ruby for filling in with gusto to create a full team. Also, thank you to Claire for filing in as coach with the tireless energy she is renowned for.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs HG Sharks 0-7

Strikers took on the HG Sharks rep team on another weather friendly Saturday morning at Stead Park. This was always going to be a very challenging match even though two of their best players, in Luca and Tom, lined up for Newtown.

Strikers pressured the Sharks from the opening whistle. Both our tackling and manning up were excellent. Luca and Tom, swapping themselves between Full Back and Centre Half, formed the basis of a defensive stance that we hoped would limit the Sharks ability to get open shots at goal. Together they performed that role superbly. Ruby, as our other Full Back, supported well, disrupting Sharks forwards running the ball into the D with her strong tackles. 10 minutes into the half and Strikers had denied the Sharks a single open shot at goal; an incredible effort that had them a bit rattled.

Our Inners, Ado and Eoin, were given the tough task of running deep into defense to crowd their goals but breaking quickly down the pitch when we gained possession. And run they did. Solid support was provided across midfield by Amber, Peri and Eliza. Finally, with 7 minutes left in the first half, Sharks scored their first.

In the second half we managed some strong offensive moves. Surrey and Tilly both ran the ball aggressively from midfield on numerous occasions, passing long, looking to find Kayla who was positioning herself perfectly. There were few opportunities for our forwards, but when we had them, we looked like scoring. Sharks countered these plays well and exploited the resulting gaps in our midfield and defense. Mai, as usual, made scoring very difficult but inevitably, some started to find the back of the net. Daniel, who had seen little action on a Wing in the first half, had a run in Right Inner, executing some excellent tackling and passing.

The final score was 7 nil but was not a true reflection of the performance of the Strikers. The first half, in particular, was a fantastic effort. This was a match between a local club team and a Geelong and district representative team. To hold the score at nil all for the first 18 minutes of the match was an incredible effort. Well done Strikers. Thanks again to Nate for attending the match in support.

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguar 5-2

Newtown Under-14s Spirit had a great game last weekend playing Geelong Jaguars, despite a disappointing game the previous week. With a number of changes to positions as the team got to know each others’ strengths and weaknesses there were a few members playing in unfamiliar positions. But a quick word from the team manager Grant followed by some on-field support by the more experienced players helped make the transition very smooth, and before long all players were working effectively together to get the ball, move the ball and get five goals in the net across both halves.

With a strong defence on the back line with Thamindu, Amelia, Liam and Elliot in goals only 2 balls managed to slip though, a number vastly outweighed by the number of saves in the back line. The half line was equally strong, helping the forward line maintain possession and assisting in moving the ball up the pitch. Finally the forward line had a lot of adapting to do with the afore-mentioned new player positions. It is also good that players remembered their drink bottles as the Jaguars kept the forward line running.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit VS Newtown Strikers 7-2

What a great start to our first game for the Winter season. Newtown Spirit were very pumped and everyone settling well into their positions, with lots of long distance running and strong passing gaining our first goal within 10 minutes by Harry L.  Continuous strong resistance from our great defence team prevented our opponents from scoring several goals. With Spirit continuing their excellent speed and endurance, Harry L, Charlie H and Oskar were able to capitalise with a fantastic goal each ending the first half with the score 4 to 1.

Spirit continued to play with lots of determination in the second half taking on board advice from Gordon our Coach, where Will was able to move the ball with ease up the forward to score a great goal from outside the D. Spirit managed to keep up their confidence which gained Charlie H another fantastic goal. Lots of great teamwork, strong passing from all our players towards the end rewarded Spirit with our final goal by Kade.  Score on the final whistle was 7-2.

Well done team on our first game.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 2-7

This round the two U17 Newtown teams played each other, this was always going to be a tough game with many friends playing for the opposition.

At the beginning of this game it was clear that we were flustered to begin with. We knew we had a challenging game when three goals were scored by the opposition in the first 10 minutes. We were fortunate enough to have Mai as goalie for the first half of the game, and she did an amazing job trying stop these powerful goals. Determination saw Josh and Charley assist with a goal scored by Riley in the opening half.

The frustration was showing on the field and the umpire coming over at half time to warn the team to settle down as cards would be given. Half time whistle blew and we were behind 4-1.

A couple of position changes and words of encouragement by Pete (coach) during the half time break provided the much needed structure we were looking for, immediately we had promising opportunities presented between Riley and Claudia which we just couldn’t finish off.

Entering the second half you could hear more talking, calling, positive praise, and saw better lateral ball movement.  Desperation was shown by both teams when  Harry W was involved in a clash that saw him receive a warning and the opposition get a green card. Harry W and Issy applied a lot of pressure and run at centre half, creating a strong defence and getting the ball forward with strong passes. Getting it out wide and into the open saw Claudia and Adam assist Josh in scoring our second goal. This week again we had a strong back line with Harley defending two possible goals (in a row) by the opposition.

Despite what was happening on the field and proving to be a tough game, it was great to see Harry B (injured) on the side lines supporting his team, nonetheless difficult to watch knowing he could not assist his team mates on the field.

This week Strikers were defeated 7-2, but we’re very proud of the character shown by the team to turn around their frustrating start and stay competitive in an undermanned match-up. Great sportsmanship was shown at the end of the game as both teams tapped hockey sticks and cheered each other.

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