DESPERATE DEFENCE: Swifts speedster Kirsty Bennett leaves Hancocks defender Caitlin Sippel stranded during last year’s A-grade grand final.
DESPERATE DEFENCE: Swifts speedster Kirsty Bennett leaves Hancocks defender Caitlin Sippel stranded during last year’s A-grade grand final. Claudia Baxter

Eleison has faith in youngsters "ahead of their years"

PREPARING for his first A-grade grand final as women's coach, Brendan Eleison sounds as relaxed as anyone can be.

"They're definitely ready for it," he said of his Hancock Brothers team facing Swifts this afternoon.

"It's been a very good year.

"I've been pretty impressed with our improvement. We started to get a bit of momentum and good combinations working."

That steady progress was due to having experienced players like Sara Rogers, Justine Parkes, Kayla Tierney and Caitlin Sippel working well with Hancocks new brigade of young talent.

They include players like Eleison's daughter Layla and McNamara sisters Miranda and Kelly, who the A-grade coach also worked with in this year's Ipswich under-15 team.

"None of the young girls are intimidated," he said.

"They always think on their feet very quickly and just their enthusiasm as juniors coming through has put them in good stead.

"They are good hockey players.

"They have got good hockey brains, ahead of their years, so they have been able to fit in pretty well."

Eleison has faith in his revamped squad which also includes Smolenski sisters Elyse and Erin and Conway cousins Shannon and Breeanna.

"The girls really want to make sure they have a crack at it," Eleison said.

A-grade squads

Norths men: Kyah Andrew- Sharrad, Mark Pocock (c), Tom Douglas, Andrew Pratt, Shaun Pratt, Jeremy Dalais, Wil Dalais, Adam Wooler, Dean Jeffrey, Jared Taylor, Aaron O'Bierne, Tobias Figura, Nick Maddocks, Anthony Woodward, Luke Haley, Matt McManus. Coach: Jamie Burns. Manager: Steve Profke.

Easts men: Patrick Colling- wood, Adam Mantell, Brent Sippel, Mark Llewelyn, Chris Mantell, Kyle Sippel, Chris Fazel, Thom Millar, Tim Woodford, Lachlan Brown, Steve Bayliss, Daniel Mantell, Dane Rew, Brenton Sippel, Nathan Smith, Luke Smith.

Swifts women: Kirsty Bennett, Megan Bool, Anne-Marie Callow, Dulane Carson, Diane Casey, Sue Marcussen, Leigh Molloy, Kristen Nicholls, Kelli Schneider, Amanda Stacey, Bronwyn Webb, Angela Wilson. Coach: Anne-Marie Callow. Assistant: Joy Lewis. Manager: Margret Bool.

Hancocks women: Sara Rogers (c), Justine Parkes, Kimberley Nunn, Aimee McDermott, Caitlin Sippel, Amanda Dudgeon, Elyse Smolenski, Erin Smolenski, Robyn Clarke, Kayla Tierney, Shannon Conway, Breeanna Conway, Natalie Davidson, Miranda McNamara, Layla Eleison, Kelly McNamara. Coach: Brendan Eleison. Manager: Ann Maree Nelson.



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