REVERSE-FLICK: Bundaberg defend their goal  during a match against Cairns at the Under-13 Girl s' State Championships.
REVERSE-FLICK: Bundaberg defend their goal during a match against Cairns at the Under-13 Girl s' State Championships. Mike Knott BUN100718HOCKEY13

Ready to step on field

HOCKEY: The Bundaberg Hockey Association's 2019 season hits off today.

President Des Barritt said he was looking forward to this season, and while numbers were slightly up on last year, he said the association was hoping to grow the sport further.

In Division 1 men, there are three teams, while the women have four. Division 2 is up with four men's and five women's teams.

Barritt said the juniors were going well with five under-16 teams, four under-13 teams and four under-11 teams.

He said registrations weren't as strong as they once were, but with a focus on creating a good vibe at the club this year they were hoping to encourage more players to pick up a stick and play the game.

"(It's) looking good for the start,” he said.

He said there would be interesting games in Division 1 today with Waves Cities taking on Arrows/Athletics, a repeat of last year's grand final.

The Waves Cities and Arrows Athletics were level after normal time in the Bundaberg Hockey Association division 1 women's final last year, but the Waves Cities secured their second title in three years with an early goal in extra time.

Barritt said it would be an interesting match, given the sides had retained most of their players.

He expected similar intrigue in the men's Division1 match at 5.20pm, to be held after the women's game at 3.55pm.

While there would be a bye in the men's Division 1, the team would still get game time.

With Gladstone only having one Division 1 team and a later season, they have arranged trial matches with the local side.

Barritt said this was great for both Gladstone and Bundaberg, as the more hockey the better.

Despite games starting this weekend, there's still plenty of room for newcomers.

He said with the overlap with the end of the summer sport seasons, they wouldn't have a clear indication of numbers for three to four weeks.

Anyone looking to play is welcome to head down to the grounds today to register. Barritt said all clubs would still be looking for members.

He said anyone with officiating skills were likewise encouraged to get in contact with the club and anyone who can umpire to come along.

See the full draw at Bundaberg Hockey Association's Facebook page.

All games are played at Hinkler Park, 1 Thornhill St, Bundaberg North.



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