Norths sharpshooter Zac Profke scored both goals for his team in the grand final. Picture: Darren J McCabe Photography
Norths sharpshooter Zac Profke scored both goals for his team in the grand final. Picture: Darren J McCabe Photography

AIS opportunities keep Zac focused on the future

WITH another trip to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) looming, Ipswich teenager Zac Profke has little time to be disappointed.

The Norths sharpshooter will no doubt dwell briefly on his team's latest 3-2 A-Grade grand final loss to Hancocks. That's particularly after he scored both penalty corner goals for his team in the entertaining encounter.

However, Profke gained some consolation from reflecting on what was a terrific hockey battle between two Ipswich club rivals who know how to play up-tempo hockey for long periods.

"We expected it to be a tough one and that's how hockey goes,'' he said.

"It's always good fun against those guys. They are unbelievably good and our boys were good tonight.''

Profke, 19, is one of the Norths young brigade setting the club up for more success in the future.

"Most of the older guys have left but it's really good bringing all the new guys up,'' he said.

"We'll just keep building and hopefully next year we'll be back too.''

Profke still has some final commitments in the Brisbane competition with Pine Rivers St Andrews.

He's also keen to return to the AIS for another Australian Futures camp after a similar opportunity earlier this year.

"It was really awesome,'' he said. "Hopefully I can head back to the AIS and keep training hard.

"After now, I still have six weeks of Brisbane left then I will still train every day with QAS (Queensland Academy of Sport) and see what happens next.

"I'm really pleased with how far I've come . . . and hopefully go a bit further.''

As for the latest Ipswich A-Grader decider, Profke gained more valuable experience as he rises up the ranks.

"Even though we lost, it doesn't really matter, you still enjoy it,'' he said.

The Norths A-Grade hockey team. Picture: Darren J McCabe Photography
The Norths A-Grade hockey team. Picture: Darren J McCabe Photography

Norths newcomer Blake Douglas was also respectful of the result against his former team and

against his brother Kai.

"It was a really good game,'' Douglas said.

"It was probably the first time this year I've versed my older brother. It was a lot of fun.''

Last year's Barry Dancer Excellence Award winner knew it was going to be another absorbing encounter.

"They have a lot of young players coming through. We have a lot coming through and even some of the older seniors they are all quite young as well,'' he said.

"So it's going to be many years to come, great battles.''

Like everyone involved in the grand finals, Douglas appreciated having hockey to play this season given the coronavirus disruptions.

"It's good to get the season underway and then coming through, turning up each week,'' he said.

Douglas planned to return to Norths next season.



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