Hancocks to miss striker
HAVING helped Hancock Brothers win a number of matches in recent seasons, Adam McClelland would have been a major force in the Ipswich A-grade final series starting this weekend.
However, the skilful Hancocks striker was on his way to Belgium yesterday to play semi-professionally for the Beerschot club based in Antwerp.
The 24-year-old dual-registered player also represents Redcliffe in the Brisbane competition.
However, he's been a prolific goal-scorer when available for his Ipswich club side.
McClelland encouraged his Hancocks teammates after scoring a double in his team's latest 7-3 victory over Wests.
Hancocks and Wests meet again in Saturday's 4.15pm elimination final at Raceview.
"I pretty much said to them if they play like they did today, there shouldn't be any doubt that they should be in the final," he said.
"It was good to watch."
McClelland converted penalty corners in the 14th and 42nd minutes, backed up well on the edge of the circle by Peter Mitchell and Glen Mortimer.
After returning from Belgium, McClelland said he was keen to rejoin Hancocks.
"I'll definitely come back out again," the former state squad member and Australian indoor hockey representative said.
"I enjoy playing with Hannies."
Hancocks coach Martin Flanigan said McClelland's firepower would be missed in the finals.
Another dual-registered player Jens Christensen is also in doubt with Brisbane final commitments.
Flanigan is hoping the team steps up after gaining confidence from Saturday's victory.
"It was a good hit-out," Flanigan said, having recently returned from a three-week holiday in the United States.
"We had a couple of bad weeks while I was away but they beat Wests last game and they've done it again today.
"Because it's such a young side, they do struggle to back up. But that's only a mental thing.
"I've got to get inside their heads and try to keep them calm, keep them concentrating."
In the other A-grade men's warm-up game for this weekend's finals, minor premiers Easts drew 2-2 with Norths.
Norths and Easts meet at 5.45pm in Sunday's qualifying final.
Women's minor premiers Swifts beat Wests 8-1, Hancocks downed Bellbowrie 5-1 and Norths accounted for Thistles 5-1.
Swifts play second-placed Hancocks in Sunday's qualifying final (4pm) after Norths and Wests contest the elimination final at 6pm on Saturday.
Junior player of the year finalists.
Male: Cade Banditt (Wests), Kyle Dolan (Bellbowrie), Caleb McCoombes (Hancocks), Mitchell Moran (Wests), Thomas Picton (Wests), Ryan Smith (Hancocks).
Female: Layla Eleison (Hancocks), Lauren Hess (Norths), Kelly McNamara (Hancocks), Gabby Nicholls (Wests), Emily Witheyman-Crump (Norths).
Winners named on grand final day (September 7).