Met West newcomers keen to enjoy state championships in city

AS a first-time Met West hockey coach, experienced A-grade player Tim Woodford understands what the team newcomers will be feeling this morning.

However, he's confident his young players will learn quickly and enjoy the Queensland School Sport 12 years and under championships at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.

"I don't know about nervous,'' the premiership- winning Easts striker said, describing what's ahead. "It's sort of maybe a little bit unsure on how we will go.

"It will be good to get that first game under the belt.''

That is against Met North at 9.30am, after the state titles opening ceremony at 8.30am.

Woodford is being assisted by another seasoned hockey campaigner Kerri Michel, who is managing the side.

The boys and girls' 12 years and under state titles continue until Sunday at Raceview.

The Met West boys' combination features a mix of players from BBC, Brookfield and Ipswich district schools.

The locally-based players include Regan Baxter and Caleb Doyle (Brassall State), Jack Hogrefe (Springfield Anglican College), Adair McNamara and Dylan Davis (St Edmund's College), Zac McCoombes (WestMAC), Sebastian Miller (Tivoli), Riley Profke (Amberley) and Jacob Wilkinson (Bremer).

Jarrod Robertson, from Brookfield, is the son of long-time Ipswich player and coach Bruce, someone Woodford played against in A grade for 10 years.

The Profke family is another familiar regional hockey clan.

"We've got a lot of quality players so they could surprise me,'' the Leichhardt-based teacher said.

"You just don't know who you are going to come up against.''

Met West has three matches today and tomorrow, with two on Saturday and one on Sunday to decide their final placing.

"Nine games over four days is really going to test the boys,'' Woodford said.

However, he's happy to see so many Met West schools represented in the squad of 14.

"Being my first tournament (as coach), it was good to have one at home to settle into it,'' he said.

The Met West girls' team includes Hayley and Emily Petersen (St Mary's College), Serena Robertson and Rebekah Ahrens (St Mary's primary), Lani Blackman (WestMAC) and Hayley Grieve (Silkstone).

The team is coached by Loretta Steele, of Bundamba State School, being assisted by manager Deborah Hinton (Goodna State School).

"It's about learning to play at a state carnival, so they can go on to the next level,'' Steele said, in her ninth year coaching a Met West girls team.

She said enjoyment was a major goal.

The Met West girls open their state title campaign against Capricornia at 11.30am today.


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