Hockey Season Is Here At Last!

 The 2020 hockey season has finally begun, for our junior teams at least.

There were many comments this week, especially from parents, about how good it was to see our junior players able to get on the field and actually play hockey again.  And there were some excellent matches, with players demonstrating the skills they have been working on in the training sessions.

Thanks to all the parents, coaches and team managers for their support and efforts which have led us to this point.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay

A great first game and lots of fun for Newtown Strikers. The experienced players formed the backbone of the team, providing structure and direction with lovely passing and positioning. Calling to team mates provided good direction and support for all players. Great work by the newer players, contributing to the team game with good skills and co-operation.

Well done to Strikers on showing great sportsmanship and fair play, which allowed the less experienced Torquay team to advance to the scoring area, resulting in 2 goals for Torquay and a sense of achievement and enjoyment for both teams.

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia

With the addition of 3 players from the 2019 U6 Joeys program, Newtown Spirit began the hockey season well. There was some great concentration on the ball from Jake and Kai, gaining possession and passing well to team mates.

The U8 players have not had the opportunity to practice since last season, but as the game went on, they showed they had not forgotten the skills and strategies. Cate and Olivia in great position on the wings, began to move to the ball and a lovely through pass down the wing by Olivia allowed her team mate to run on and move the ball into attack. Isaac and Albie worked hard, and in the second half especially, applied great pressure to the opposition when they were near the ball, allowing Newtown to control the play.

Well done all. A great start, and we are really looking forward to next week.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 2-1

The Under 10 Spirit Team came to the match full of enthusiasm and ready to test out the skills they have been learning at training over the last few weeks. They started out well and were able to apply most of the pressure in the first half.

The middle of the pitch was a bit of a battle field with most of the play running up the centre of the pitch. Thanks to some good tackling in the mid field and defence, there was good supply of the ball through to Michael, Josien and Audrey in the forward line. Josien was able to convert one of those opportunities into a goal and Spirit led 1-0 at half time.

Kardinia came out fighting after half time and got an early goal. After some half time feedback Spirit started to make better use of their wings to get past the Kardinia defence. There was also some great defensive play from Pollyanna and Isabelle. Spirit were rewarded with another goal thanks to some great teamwork from Michael, Josien, Audrey and Lucy in front of goal. It was a great start for the team in their first match together.

 Newtown Strikers vs Saints 3-0

The core of the Strikers team returned from last year, but with a number of players having moved to U12, we were glad to welcome some new players. Maia, Paige and Manny joined us from U8, and Patrick and Anessa are new members of the club this year.

Playing without a goalkeeper, we began with a strong defence lineup of Harrison, William and Cormac, who were in good position to intercept any forward moves from Saints. Players were keen to get the ball, and approaches with the stick on the ground saw Newtown gain possession on many occasions. There were some good attempts to pass to team mates, but a tendency to crowd made these less effective than they might have been. Great determination and good stick skills by Paige, Bella and Maia created some promising moves into attack.

The first goal was scored by Bella after a perfect pass across from right wing by Anessa in her first game of hockey ever! Newtown had plenty of forward movement, and plenty of players keen to contribute to the team game. The half time score of 2-0 was a reflection of the effort by the whole team.

It was not until half time that we realised that the Saints team was seriously undermanned. Thanks to William and Maia for volunteering to swap and play for Saints to even up the numbers. The second half saw some good midfield work, and some positional changes to give players a chance to experience a new role. Great persistence and improved use of the wings brought Charles, Manny, Sofia and Patrick into the game.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Strikers 2-1

The opening matches at Stead Park for this hockey season included a Newtown blockbuster, Under 12 Strikers vs Rebels. Firstly thanks to Strikers for loaning us a player as the starting line-ups were 11 vs 8, so thanks for the cameo and well played to Amelia who showed slinky sweeping shots to move the play around the field.

Our team welcomed two players both up for their first winter season game of hockey. River and Serena both made terrific position and placement to intercept and receive the ball. River’s positioning and movement in the D, especially shadowing defenders distracted the opposition goalie and was a significant assist, and Serena impressed the coach and manager  with her persistence and making the opposition play one more shot or move. Keep it up.

Eliza’s signature running was a delight to watch and her positioning on the field was integral to getting the ball out wide for flow. Alex made some lovely free passes with great direction, making good use of her lovely accurate hit, so we’d like to see more of that next week. Maddison combined some lovely stick skills with passes to other players – great transition to U12 and synthetic. Ruby and Brandon were on fire covering one another on the field and passing to well-placed team members. Elliott in goals had a fantastic game, and her calling to team mates to move them into position was a delight, what a great game.

One last thing to the whole team please, next week please let us see more of you bending your knees and having your stick on the ground. Well done everyone for a two to one win. Both goals were team efforts to beat the goalie with final honours going to Jacob and Ruby.

I know you’ve all been reading for Best Team Player. This week it was the youngest member of the team Jacob, for sticking to his position and persistently following up on loose hockey balls and passing them to team mates.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Rebels 1-2

Welcome back to winter hockey, finally!

U12 Strikers had a good game to kick off the hockey season. Firstly thanks to Serena and Amelia for playing for Rebels this week to even up the numbers, this was very much appreciated, and also Mai for jumping in and being our goalie this week.

The match was very evenly matched, with lots of rebound play. It was nice to see the team move the ball around and start to use the angles. Some great tackling, and forward movement had us in attack on many occasions. Some nice rebound out of defence, and movement of the ball out wide, saw Charlotte get a shot on goal, and open our balance for the game and season. Rebels pushed back hard and broke through our defence to equalise near the half time siren, going in 1-1.

The second half was again a very even match, with both teams moving the ball well. We had some good forward thrusts, and a couple of shots on goal that went awfully close, but we were not able to get one into the net. Mai was also busy, performing some great saves, with some timely surges at the oncoming Rebel attacks. However, with only a few minutes to go Rebels managed to get in behind our defence, and even with some excellent keeping from Mai, managed to get on a rebound ball, and score.

It was pleasing to see the Strikers players all keep their heads and keep fighting right to the final siren. Well done Strikers it was great to finally be watching some hockey, especially with the great skills you all showed!

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 2-0

It was a cheerful team and a joyful crowd simply to be so lucky to be back on the field in the sunshine (and the usual wind) at Stead Park for round 1 of the 2020 hockey season.

The team welcomed five new players Bella, Baxter and Matilda from NCHC U10’s, as well as Tessa a new member of NCHC, and Hugh’s first time playing the winter season.

The team may not have played for a while and it was their first match together as a team but you would not have known this as an onlooker. All players positioned themselves well; covering the field and playing their positions with skills and determination that should see them do well this season.

A perfect pass from Bella in our goal circle saw Leo shoot a confident first goal of the match in the first half. This was followed later in the second half by a second goal this time from Matilda.

Throughout the game there was fabulous play by all. Ruben and Hamish K worked well together in defence showing great stick work skills and strong, accurate passes to our midfielders. Charlotte was on every ball that came near tackling hard and following up to ensure it was cleared back to our players. Hugh  had a great couple of runs up the field with the ball well controlled and passing on to the forwards. Leo played a brilliant game running hard, covering the field and passing on accurately. Some particularly lovely teamwork was seen between Tessa, Matilda and Hugh. Baxter, Annabelle and Tessa ran all match, using the full width of the field and somehow always being where they were needed.

Kardinia played a good match and were not without a few attempts at goals however fortunately for us we had Hamish S in goals who ensured that despite a few close calls Kardinia did not get one past. Last of all I’d like to mention Nate who due to a broken wrist is currently out of play but he did not let that stop him so he was helping out with umpiring instead!

Thank you to Claire for filing in as coach for Kellie. Claire as always gave 110% to the match, coming away with a hoarse voice but happy!

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 7-0

On Saturday Strikers took to the pitch for Round 1 against Golden Plains.

Congested play was the main feature of the first half. Relentless tackling by Strikers gave Golden Plains little room to push into offense. Strikers also had difficulty finding space going forward but forced their way through to score twice via great efforts by Ado and Luca. A Tilly / Kayla combination sent us to a 3 nil lead at half time.
Coach Deb wanted the Strikers midfielders to look for the switchback into space. This was to avoid the “beehive” that was forming 15 metres ahead of play and open up the D to create scoring opportunities.
Strikers heeded Coach Deb’s half time advice with numerous examples of great switching that wrong-footed the Golden Plains defense. Three of these plays were rewarded with goals; 2 by Ado and 1 by Luca. When the D did become heavily congested, Kayla proved her goal in the first half was no fluke and snuck in a second. Score on the final whistle was 7 nil.

Every Striker should be proud of the way the team came together for their first match. The game was enjoyed by both teams and played in great spirit. Golden Plains were far more challenging opponents than the scoreboard suggested.
Big thanks to Ruby, Eliza and Surry for coming up from U12’s and playing well. Also, a nod to Nate who attended the match in support while injured.

Newtown Spirit vs HG Sharks 0-13

Despite what the score might suggest, this was a great game, with an evenly matched first half. The HG Sharks were keeping GK Elliott busy, but her movement and positioning were excellent, making some great saves in the last line of defence. Newtown was able to move the ball into attack with some good co-operation between team mates, but weren’t able to find space in the attacking circle to finish off the good forward moves.

The second half saw the Sharks continue to run hard, and Newtown found it harder to keep up the pace. However, the experience will set the team up for some good games against other teams in the competition.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia White 3-2

It was nice to see so many familiar faces over the weekend. There was a buzz around Stead Park, round one of the winter hockey season was finally here.

The U17 Strikers team pep talk before the game consisted of working as a team, positive talk and having fun this season. This was then evidenced on the field as they won their first game 3-2 against Kardinia White.

The team settled into positions and a strong structure was formed, the team moved the ball up forward fast and with ease, gaining their first goal within 10 minutes. Although they did not have a goalie, our structure of three in the back line proved to be a strong defence with Harley stopping many possible goals.

Mitch’s passes were strong toward our forward line which provided opportunities in attack. Jarret’s amazing tomma goal into the bottom corner from the top of the D deserves a mention, after a beautiful goal assist from Charley. The whole team showed determination and demonstrated team work to hold Kardinia to two all at half time.

A beautiful pass up the line between Izzy, Riley, Charley and Josh demonstrated promise and showed what can be achieved with team work. Harry B finished off the game with a third goal in the second half and the team continued to hold Kardinia to two goals.

Newtown Spirit – Bye



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