Ekert's on target for overseas trip
IF current form counts, Australian Country player Jaden Ekert is heading overseas in tip-top shape.
Ekert scored four impressive goals in Wests' 6-2 A-grade victory over Hancocks on Saturday.
His lethal effort in attack added to his three-goal tally in the Magpies' 8-3 season-opening victory over Bellbowrie.
“It felt real good tonight,” Ekert said.
“I'm just really enjoying hockey at the moment. Life's good.”
The sharpshooter is off to Singapore and Malaysia next month for his first trip in Australian Country colours.
“I can't wait,” he said, excited about the two-week tour, which includes games in Penang and three Tests in Kuala Lumpur.
“I'm at the stage where I'm having fun now and that rep stuff is good for me.”
On Saturday, Ekert looked dangerous every time he made a run down the right wing. His turn of speed and his ability to make room on the edge of the goal circle tormented the Hancocks defence.
Among his goals was a superb reverse stick strike midway through the first half.
Ekert linked especially well with Greg Walker, who also scored.
“It's not bad when you've got Greg Walker up there creating a whole lot of space for you,” he said.
Ekert said his - and the team's - confidence was due to key Wests' recruits Bruce Robertson and Ken McCoombes.
As players and co-coaches, McCoombes and Robertson switched to Wests after guiding Easts to last year's premiership success.
“We're preparing well and Bruce and Kennie are professional in what to do, so that always helps,” Ekert said.
“It's made a big difference, just the experience and knowledge that they both have.
“They bring an awe to the team and that makes the team lift.”
Ever the perfectionist, Robertson said Wests needed to stabilise a few areas despite the goal scoring prowess of Ekert, Walker and Andrew Dionysius.
“We were still a bit soft at the back so we've got some work to do,” Robertson said.
“It's only early days. We've only been on the turf for a month now.
“We've got a lot of work to do in our general structure.”
- In the other A-grade match, Norths accounted for Bellbowrie 4-1.
- Men's A-grade: Wests 6 (Jaden Ekert 4, Andrew Dionysius, Greg Walker) d Hancocks 2 (Peter Mitchell, Ben French); Norths 4 (Tobias Figura 2, Dean Jeffrey 2) d Bellbowrie 1 (Jerry Norris).
- Women's A-grade: Swifts 8 (Kristin Litzow 2, Anne-Marie Callow 2, Kirsty Leneghan, Sue Gregory, Josie Smith, Bronnie Webb) d Easts 0; Norths 4 (Jess Beasley 2, Chrissy Reid 2) d Bellbowrie 0; Hancocks 5 (Jordyn Holzberger 3, Renee Nystrom, Kimberley Nunn) d Wests 1 (Vanessa Bice).