In less than a week, the Goulburn Geckos will step on the field for the first time in 2020.
Following a long COVID-19 layoff, which at times put the season in doubt, Hockey ACT confirmed recently that it has scheduled 18 rounds for its senior competitions, beginning on July 10 and ending on October 23, with finals scheduled for October 30.
In round one next Friday, the Goulburn men's side is set to take on Old Canberrans Hockey Club in a challenging first round encounter in Canberra.
Meanwhile, the Goulburn women will have a bye next week.
The beginning of the season, which some thought might not happen at all, has come as a huge relief to Hockey ACT CEO and Goulburn local, Rob Sheekey.
"We are just excited and relieved to get the season underway. Our hockey community has been so supportive during this difficult time and we are really excited to be able to deliver a full season of hockey for our members," he said.
"We are really keen to try and change the narrative of 2020 to something really positive and enjoyable for all our members."
The draws for the first four rounds were released on July 1, and both Goulburn sides have interesting matchups ahead.
Following their clash against OCHC in round one, the men take on ANU in round two, Central Canberra in round three (which will also be Goulburn's first home round), and United in round four on August 1.
The women get their season underway officially on July 18 with a clash against the North Canberra Eagles in round two, to be followed by a meeting with Central in round three, and United in round four.
Hopes are high for both Goulburn teams this season.
The men have made the finals almost as a matter of habit in recent years, and with a roster of high-profile players, little is expected to change in 2020.
Meanwhile, the women's team began a new fitness regime before the layoff under the guidance of former local rugby league coach Steve Freebody.
Though the lockdown will no doubt have impacted the players' fitness to a degree, the renewed focus on physical endurance will serve the side well.
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