Youngsters like Salyter Welsh could be newcomers to the Ipswich hockey competition this year through the addition of Springfield Lakers. Salyter is pictured with Lakers development co-ordinator Peter Maslowskyj.
Youngsters like Salyter Welsh could be newcomers to the Ipswich hockey competition this year through the addition of Springfield Lakers. Salyter is pictured with Lakers development co-ordinator Peter Maslowskyj. Rob Williams

Ipswich Hockey season promising

A NEW regional coaching director, an enthusiastic club from Springfield and a season expected to start on time – the 2011 Ipswich hockey competition is fast approaching.

The first round of last season’s competition was put back due to wet weather delays finalising construction of two new synthetic fields.

But even with the recent floods this year, 2011 Ipswich hockey fixtures are scheduled to start on March 11.

The Ipswich Hockey Complex at Raceview escaped the rising waters and association president John Cushing is excited about the season ahead.

“All the fields, even the grass fields, are in top order,” Cushing said.

“We’ve got a big working bee on the 19th and 20th to finalise everything.”

Cushing is preparing to welcome new regional coaching director Neil Shearer, who replaces Alan Sinclair in the important role.

Shearer, who previously worked in Rockhampton and Gladstone, is starting his Ipswich work later this month.

Long-serving official Cushing was also thrilled to see the Springfield Lakers club join the Ipswich competition.

The Lakers will be the 11th club, after Swifts and Bellbowrie entered teams last decade.

“The Lakers look very well advanced,” Cushing said.

“Hopefully we get an increase in numbers and it will be interesting to see how Neil (Shearer) works in that respect.”

Ipswich has decided not to field men’s or women’s representative sides in any pre-season competitions this year.

Premiership-winning Easts player/coach Nathan Hooper is guiding this year’s Ipswich men’s side, preparing for the open championships in Brisbane in late April/early May.

Murray Rogers is coaching the Ipswich women’s Premier League side playing in Brisbane in June.

“We’ve got no state championships (in Ipswich) at this stage but we’ve got our normal Toowoomba (intercity) competition with the Toowoomba clubs,” Cushing said.

“That’s going very well and they’re very happy with it.”

In coaching news, Danni Emblem is taking on the Norths A-grade women with Jamie Burns guiding the men after helping out last season.

Darren Manson is coaching the Wests men and experienced journeyman Kel Iszlaub is looking after the Wests women.

Daniel Mantell will continue coaching the Hancocks women with Hooper sticking with the successful Easts men.

Keep reading your QT for confirmation of coaching and playing changes.

The Hookin2Hockey program will continue this year to bolster junior development.

Ipswich Hockey Association executive and committee positions will be finalised at the annual general meeting on February 25.



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