Expect plenty of exciting action at the Goulburn hockey field starting this Friday, August 25, at 6.30pm with the under18s grand final between Fireflys and Taralga and concluding with the men’s first grade grand final Saturday afternoon from 4pm.
This finale to a great series of grand final match ups is between Fireflys and North Blues. The women’s first grade match that precedes this is between Ajax and the Taralga Tigers.
First grade women
The First Grade Women’s match is one that could go either way with both teams showcasing young talented players, the future of Goulburn Hockey.
Ajax will be looking to Hanna Shawyer for a solid performance that she can produce, but coming back from a recent surgery may prove difficult. Lack of match play could prove a problem.
Naomi Jones (Captain) in the centre supplies the experience needed to guide their young guns, however that youth up front may lack punch when it counts. There’s a need for some some guidance up there and no doubt Jones is aware of this. Players to watch - Naomi Jones, Sophie Pagett, Kegan Mitchell and Mikayla Jones.
Taralga Tigers have the youngest side in the competition with their leaders on the field only relatively young themselves. Cailin Abbott in goals has plenty of enthusiasm and courage to burn, however may lack the finer skills when it comes to the crunch, but the defence of Paige Wildin will more that make up for any minor hiccups back here. Maggie Anable and Katey Croker will be the ones steering the Tigers around the pitch, but it’s up front where the Tigers could clinch this one. With speed to burn in Brianna Conner, Ellen Cornish, Josie Croker and Annabel Croker, if these young girls can keep their composure and trust their ability, this could be their advantage. Players to Watch - Ellen Cornish, Maggie Annable, Brianna Connor and Annabel Croker.
Ajax may pull this off with that extra experience but it’s going to be a tight one.
First grade men
This sees Fireflys again in the grand final vying for their sixth consecutive title and is the team to beat.
Fireflys - with plenty of experience in the big games and a splash of youth, they certainly have the balance. Aaron Kershaw will be the one leading them around with "The Motivator” and captain Scott Grant supplying all the positive talk. Steve Downey and Robbie Hughes give them balance in the middle with hard tackling and creative play and the little mix of youth up front supporting Jason McPherson and Jake Humphries looks great on paper, they just have to put in the performance.
Nth Blues - Again a team with a good mix of experience and youth, a must for there future. But there is no doubt they have the most experience in the game in Glen Turner, considered one of the best strikers in the world. The Flys defence will be tested on numerous occasions. Michael Dooley (captain) and Zac McGregor will be supplying the majority of the defence and it won’t surprise if young Zac is targeted by the Kershaw overhead. Blues too have some speed in Anthony Anable upfront but I’m not too sure it will be enough. With Aaron Dooley and Indian import Anup Valmiki, both out with injury, they’ll be supplying the coaching from the bench.
With Flys pure balance and experience in the big games the only way I can see this going is in their favour. It will take a special effort from Blues and I think they might look to Glen Turner to put on a Super Human performance to make the difference, but I think that it could be too big of an ask from one man. Blues will have their opportunities, but they must work together, trust each other and make them count as Flys will simply not lie down & will be wanting to bash out that team song one more time.
Ajax Women first grade
- Hanna Shawyer: Goal Keeper – A talented keeper who performs well under pressure and has the ability to pull off some game changing saves.
- Rowdy White: Goal Keeper – Goal Keeping Ninja and all round legend.
- Brooke Pollack: Centre Defence – Experienced defender who rarely misses the one on one contest, strong tackler and great clearance from defence.
- Renee George: Defender – Solid defender with great strength on the ball. Has the confidence to build attacking plays from outside defence.
- Danni Frey: Defender – Consistent performer who adds a strong presence in defence. Calm demeanour belies explosive attacking ability.
- Sophie Pagett: Defender – Up and coming youngster who has been very strong in her first year of grade hockey. Brings a presence, tackles strongly and explosive out of defence.
- Emma Baxter: Midfield – A vital midfield link. Tenacious on the ball and in defence, strong ball carrier and can ignite attacking opportunities.
- Caitlin Jones: Midfield – Forms a critical link with the other midfielders. Great vision for the game, can transition defence into attack with stick on ball or the right pass.
- Fiona Croker: Midfield – One of the leaders in the team, and offers great experience and a high workrate. Still has the skills and desire to attack from the mids.
- Kegan Mitchell: Midfield – Offers calm and composure to the midfield. Strong ball runner, explosive and can create attacking opportunity from turnover ball.
- Naomi Jones: Midfield – Provides the experience and calming influence to a young squad. Still one of the competitions most dynamic players when she chooses to run.
- Ella Smith: Striker – Rookie with high work rate. Offers great speed, skills and commitment in the circle. Has the ability to finish attacking plays.
- Makayla Jones: Striker – Another junior with high work rate in defence and attack. Brings competitive spirit, speed, skills and a love for the goal. Developing into a clinical striker.
- Niamh Blake: Striker – Another one who has made the step into First grade this year. Great speed, high work rate and enthusiasm to get involved.
- Brooke Loader: Striker – Another rookie. Shown great improvement with stick on ball throughout the season. Doesn’t know how fast she is, will run all day.
Taralga Tigers Women first grade
- Cailin Ebbott: Goal keeper – Directs the team from the back. Extremely committed has consistently performed in the goals this year and kept her team in a lot of games through her ability to make unbelievable saves under pressure.
- Hannah Smith: Centre defence - Undoubtedly one of the best defenders in the competition . Plays hard and defends with strength and commitment for the whole game.
- Paige Wildin: Left defence – Has an exceptional eye for the ball. Consistently brings the ball out of of defence. Rarely anything gets past her.
- Eliza Menzies: Right defence – Plays a great positional game and gets the job done at a controlled steady pace.
- Madelyn Croker: defence – Good controlled stick skills and great ability to throw a pass directly onto her team mates stick.
- Maggie Anable: Defensive mid – Very strong defender with exceptional tackling skills and has a powerful slap shot out of defence.
- Katey Croker: Centre mid – Displays excellent ball skills and can attack quickly through the midfield.
- Annabel Croker: Attacking mid – Works hard off the ball and has ability to steal the ball and quickly turn a defensive situation into attack.
- Ellie Patotoukos: Attacking mid – Positions herself well and continually provides an option for her team mates to attack out wide.
- Georgie Elliott: Striker and in the midfield – Works hard every game and gives 100 per cent. Can link up quickly in attack and loves to get a shot at goal.
- Ellen Cornish: Striker – Extremely fast and an explosive player with excellent ball skills. Puts her body on the line every game.
- Josie Croker: Striker – Excellent ball skills and great ability to beat opponent one on one.
- Brianna Connor: Striker – Unbelievable speed. Impossible to catch when attacking. Will always get to the ball first.
Fireflys first grade men
- Nic Patton: Goalkeeper – New to the team this year and has been one of our best will be out to keep north blues scoreless and Will also be out to win against his old team.
- Aaron Kershew: Fullback – Great defender quick to turn defence into attack and also our go to man on penalty corners with his electric drag flicks.
- Brady Deaton: Fullback – A young player with a big future in the game has stepped up this year and is one off a key players in defence.
- Scott Grant: Captain-outside half – Loves the big games quick to turn defence into attack and will be out to hopefully captain his team to another premiership.
- Kurt Devlin: Outside half – A great defender with his tackling and speed one of our go to players coming out of defence also in attack will be out for a big game.
- Robbie Hughes: Centre half – Another new member to the team and has fitted in nicely strong on the ball and controls the game nicely will be out to win against his old club on the weekend.
- Steve Downey: Inside forward – A great clubman loves the big stage is one of a key player up front very strong on the ball and will be out to put a few in the net this weekend.
- Jake Humphries: Inside forward – The workhorse of the team has a big engine and runs all game works back in defence and very skillful in attack.
- Peter Alchin: Wing – A great team player works hard all game runs good lines when attacking the circle and all ways in a great position to score will be in for a big game.
- Jason McPherson: Wing – Very quick and skillful player loves getting one on one chances and will be out to put a few in the back of the net this weekend.
- Todd Unicomb: Centre forward – One of the leading goal scorers in the competition very quick and skillful player loves running the backline at speed and can score from anywhere in the circle will be in for a big game.
- Damon Deaton: Wing/half – Can play anywhere on the field quick player that loves to turn defence into attack with his speed also a strong defender.
- Mat Scott: Wing/half – A great team player always gives 100% in what ever position he plays in will be out for a big game this weekend.
- Lachlan Norberg: Wing – Another one of our young rising stars big future in the game very skillful player that always gives 100 per cent.
- Andrew Kemp: Half/wing – Loves the big stage great defender and very strong on the ball skillful player that can create chances.
North Blues first grade men
- Jason Brayshaw: Capital league goal keeper, been the in form keeper of the competition for the last few years. Will be ready to go.
- Jason Apps: Llook out when he unleashes his powerful hit! Big strong and fast. Can make a full field pass.
- Zac Mcgregor: The young gun of the team.keep an eye out for this young half/back, huge future.
- Tim Roberts: Like a fine wine, gets better with age. Hasn't missed a trap all year, can depend on him to do his job.
- Ben Gearing: Very versatile, can play anywhere. Fast strong and doesn't mind the rough stuff. Won't stop running.
- Michael Dooley: Captain – Experience playing in Europe, leads the team around the field. Can tackle anyone and looks for the killer pass.
- John Connell: Will do whatever is necessary for the team. Strong outside half with a great marking game. Won't sleep the night before.
- Rob Sheekey: Mr Hockey, loves the game. Has a 10m reach. When on song he is dangerous with the scrappy ball.
- Jacob Mcgregor: Fast and skillful, when in the open he can tear a team apart. Silky skills and is getting better with every game.
- Anthony Anable: Road runner! Super fast, huge work rate and fast hands. One of the Snr players. Anything can happen with him on the field.
- Daniel Fleming: Vice captain – Heart of Phar Lap, will run all day. Big, strong and fast. One of the best attacking players in the comp.
- Dave Mcgregor: Another versatile player. Mr consistent. Will be looking to show the young guys how to get on the scoreboard.
- Glenn Turner: Put simply one of the best strikers in the world. Skills and speed to burn, can make anything happen. Will get the crowd standing.
- Hamish Copland: New addition to the team, has slotted in perfect. Fast and run all day, he loves the challenge.
- Josh Stapleton: The big improver of the team. First season and has come along leaps and bounds.
- Aaron Dooley and Anup Valmiki: Coaches – Out due to injury they will be looking to pass on guidance and set moves.
Grand final times
Friday, August 25
- 6.30pm: Under 18s – Fireflys v Taralga
- 7.30pm: Under 15s – Taralga v Ajax
Saturday, August 27
- 8.30am: Under 11s – Ajax White v Taralga Black
- 9.30am: Under 13s – Taralga Orange v Fireflys
- 10.45am: Women’s third grade – Ajax v North Whites
- 12 noon: Women’s second grade – Ajax v North Blues
- 1.15pm: Men’s second grade – Tablelands Thunder v Gordon Hornets
- 2.30pm: Women’s first grade – Ajax v Taralga Tigers
- 4pm: Men’s forst grade – Fireflys v North Blues