Ipswich girls in form for state title bid
A NUMBER of players with grand final experience and a strong sisterly connection have given Ipswich a boost for the state titles.
Ipswich will field two teams at the Under 15 Girls' State Championships at Raceview starting on Sunday, with Leonie and Alannah Young as coaches.
"We are sisters so we can chat pretty much all of the time,'' Leonie said, having been assisted by Alannah in preparing Ipswich's two squads.
"She was coaching one of the C Grade teams as well so I could go and watch her team, which meant I could get a really close eye on the other girls as well.
"We can have really open conversations.''
Leonie is guiding Ipswich's number one side in Division 1.
She is pleased to head into the four-day tournament with players having just contested senior and junior grand finals over the past two weekends at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.
They included grand final-winning Wests' A graders Jordn Office and Talicia Canty, as well as premiership winners like Victoria Heffernan (Bellbowrie A2) and Emily Petersen (Thistles R2).
Emma Picton, Georgia Stenzel, Lani Blackman, Cleo Jordan and Indie Hey were among talented youngsters involved in C Grade teams on Ipswich's junior grand final day on September 2.
"It means they've had a pressure game before this weekend,'' Leonie said.
"Some of them are developing into very, very good players.
"I guess I'm getting them at the stage where they are coming out of juniors and getting ready for seniors.''
The coaching sisters finalised their number one and two teams after the Southern Cross series at Tweed.
However, Leonie said her team would play unknown opponents like Townsville, Rockhampton and Fraser Coast.
"We're going in blind to most games because a lot of the teams we're playing are not down this way. They are all up north,'' she said.
She's relying on proven Ipswich club combinations and players being familiar with each other to meet the state titles challenge.
"They know each other's game, which is a benefit,'' Leonie said.
"If all the girls bring their strengths to each game, we will be competitive.''
Leonie has been a regular junior representative coach.
She umpired the bronze medal match at the national under 21 championships.
Alannah was captain of the Norths' Reserve Grade side this year.
The Ipswich girls have been training for nine weeks, having a trial against Toowoomba.
Ipswich junior player of the year Victoria Heffernan is goalkeeper for the number one side. "She's having a good season,'' Leonie said, keen to see Victoria back her confidence.
Leonie was planning to name the co-captains before her team's first match against Tweed Border at 9.30am on Sunday.
The number two side coached by Alannah meets Sunshine Coast at the same time.
Hundreds of players from around the state will be involved in three divisions.
Matches will be played from Sunday until the finals on Wednesday.
An Ipswich under 15 boys team is heading to Rockhampton for their state titles, also starting this weekend.
Ipswich girls' under 15 number one team: Lani Blackman, Caitlin Canty, Talicia Canty, Madeline Denny, Hayley Grieve, Ashley Hansen, Victoria Heffernan, Indianna Hey, Cleo Jordan, Seanna Lesimaikimatuku, Jordn Office, Emily Petersen, Emma Picton, Serena Robertson, Georgia Stenzel. Coach: Leonie Young. Manager: Morgan Leeder.
Ipswich girls' under 15 number two team: Rebekah Ahrens, Jessica Andrews, Breeah Baxter, Caitlin Casey, Olivia Chubb, Katie George, Grace Hargreaves, Rhiannan Pamenter, Hayley Petersen, Kaja Roberts, Georgia Scott, Ashlyn Speirs, Bronwyn Speirs, Alysha Sweeney, Kalleigh Thomas, Hayleigh Wells, Coach: Alannah Young. Manager: Natalie Jordan.
Ipswich boys under 15 number one team: Zac Ashton-Norton, Regan Baxter, Joseph Butta, Zachary Chetham, Joseph Cook, Dylan Davis, Isaac Jordan, Samuel Kenny, Sebastian Masters, Sebastian Miller, Benjamin Moss, Lachlan Pomerenke, Ayden Saric-Pamenter, Aiden Snook, Matthew West, Jacob Wilkinson. Coach: Dean Jeffrey. Manager: Tom Cook.