Home edge for state title bid

IPSWICH under-15 girls hockey coach Brendan Eleison has been around the game long enough to know there are no certainties in cut-throat state titles competition.

When the promising players involved are starting A-grade careers, it enhances the element of unpredictability.

However, Eleison is excited about the number one team he is overseeing at next week's state championships at Raceview.

Ipswich is host city for the week-long event starting on Monday.

"It's great to have them at home,'' Eleison said, having worked with this side at last year's state titles on the Sunshine Coast.

"The difference this year is a lot more girls are playing senior hockey. That should hold us in good stead with a lot of experience in the team to handle the pressure situations.''

Among the girls who have played A-grade are Brendan's daughter, Layla (Hancocks), Hannah Casey (Bellbowrie) and Brooke Pavitt (Thistles).

"In this age group, there's a lot of quality in it across the state,'' the Ipswich coach said.

"Any one of six teams can take the championships out."

While expecting Brisbane, Tweed and Toowoomba to field strong teams, Eleison said Cairns and Townsville were often unknown quantities.

Ipswich's top side is in Division 1 Pool B along with Brisbane 1 and 2, Tweed Border 1, Sunshine Coast and Mackay 1.

Ipswich's second development side is in Division 2 Pool A with Brisbane 3, Atherton, Cairns 2, Hervey Bay and Tweed Border 2.

Ipswich's number one side play Tweed Border in their first game at 11.45am on Monday. Their second match for the day is against Brisbane 1 at 4.45pm.

Ipswich (2) play Tweed Border first-up at 10.30am before a 2.15pm game against Cairns 2.

Ipswich players Gabrielle Nicholls, Lauren Hess and goalkeeper Emily Witheyman- Crump will back up next week after representing the city's under-13 side in Mackay this week.

Eleison is confident his team can step up for the challenge at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.

"The girls have been training really well and there's been a lot of comments made as to how sharp they look,'' Eleison said.

"The girls are keen.

"They are playing at home and being in comfortable surrounds, we're hoping that we can be enthusiastic all week and play some good strong hockey that can get us some results.''

Meanwhile, Ipswich trio Kyah Andrew-Sharrad, Jarrod Brown and Joshua Davies will represent the Queensland under-18 team at the Australian championships in Newcastle from July 2-13.

Andrew-Sharrad, Brown and Davies successfully made it through selection processes for the Queensland under-18 team following standout performances at the trials held on March 8.

Talented teams

Ipswich under-15 number one girls: Chloe Axelby, Rebecca Ball, Hannah Casey, Layla Eleison, Zoe Fox, Dana Hess, Lauren Hess, Storm King, Kelly McNamara, Gabrielle Nicholls, Brooke Pavitt, Breeanna Prasser, Emma Reeve, Emily Witheyman-Crump. Coach: Brendan Eleison. Manager: Lauren Casey.

Ipswich under 15 number two team: Kelsey Adcock, Tiffeni Follett, Caitlin Harzem, Stella Knight, Kaidyn Kunde, Elise Muller, Madeline Nelson, Olivia Finn, Olivia Norris, Lacey Pearce, Summer-Rose Taverndale, Enya Timperley, Natalie Walker, Alannah West, Chloe Wilks. Shadow: Caitlyn Wilson. Coach: Deb West. Manager: Jan Walker.

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