2014 - Junior Country Championships and Inter-league - Preview
Junior Country Championships
Saturday 24 May and Sunday 25 May 2014
Representative hockey teams to compete this weekend
Four hockey teams will compete this weekend at two different tournaments, each representing the Wimmera Hockey Association. Three junior teams will compete in the Junior Country Championships in Melbourne, while a senior men’s side will compete in an inter-league match at St Arnaud.
There are no Wimmera home and away matches this weekend due to the junior country championships.
Junior Country Championships
Three junior teams will compete in the Hockey Victoria Junior Country Championships at Melbourne with matches to be played on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. The tournament is commonly known as Junior Country Week.
All six of the Wimmera clubs are represented this year with most represented in each of the three teams. Wimmera will compete in the Under 15 Boys division, Under 17 Girls division and the Under 17 Boys division.
A mixed Wimmera team will compete in the Under 15 Boys division, and includes a couple of boys from North Central hockey.
Wimmera will field an Under 17 Girls team which will partly consist of a few under 15 players. Wimmera will field an Under 17 Boys team for the first time since 2011.
These are great numbers for the Wimmera which had only sent two teams last year. This also means that all ages have the opportunity to represent their Wimmera association this year, whereas for the last two years under 17 boys had to play with other associations if they wanted to compete.
Players will relish the opportunity to play all their games on artificial turf, as well as play with teammates who are usually opponents. This championships weekend provides great experience for young players to learn new skills, builds confidence and encourages inter-club bonding within our association.
WHA Junior Development Officer Jenny Smith from Horsham Hockey Club has hopes the teams will be competitive against the other country associations.
Officials are also pleased that games for the three teams will all be played at venues close to each other which will make organisation easier in Melbourne.
These championships form part of the selection process for North West Lightning zone teams to compete in the Junior State Championships in July. Wimmera currently has six juniors in initial squads and will use these championships to try to impress selectors.
All the best to all the players, officials and parent helpers representing the Wimmera this weekend.
Under 15 Boys (Mixed)
Rebekah Albrecht (Dimboola), Fraser Bothe (Kaniva), Fletcher Bowles (North Central), Tempany Croot (Yanac), Daniel Danisch (Dimboola), Kira Guest (Horsham), Teo Haines (Dimboola), Kaitlyn Miller (Yanac), Luke Shalders (Kaniva), Fynn Smith (North Central), Nathan Sparke (Horsham), Bradley Walker (Dimboola), Lachlan Wilde (Nhill).
Coach: Ellie Woods (Dimboola).
Team Manager: Wendy Shalders (Kaniva).
Assistant Team Manager: Matthew Sparke (Horsham).
Under 17 Girls
Jemima Bothe (Kaniva), Stefanie Bull (Nhill), Ashleigh Fogarty (Horsham), Mia Guest (Horsham), Hannah Gulline (Horsham), Brittany Keam (Yanac), Lucy O’Connor (Horsham), Zoe Pilmore (Dimboola), Sophie Pipkorn (Yanac), Jessica Revell (Dimboola), Cally Shurdington (Kaniva), Kaylee Withers (Dimboola), Toni-Anne Woods (Warrack), Kiah Zietsman (Horsham).
Coach: Claire Barnett (Horsham).
Team Manager: Narelle O’Connor (Horsham).
Assistant Team Manager: Sarah O’Connor (Horsham).
Under 17 Boys
Lewis Bothe (Kaniva), Lachlan Clark (Kaniva), Jack Dean (Warrack), William Gulline (Horsham), Alex Magrath (Yanac), Lachlan Mills (Kaniva), Alex Pipkorn (Nhill), Brandon Rich (Kaniva), Lachlan Schultz (Dimboola), Duncan Shalders (Kaniva), Colin Taylor (Warrack), Adam Ussing (Nhill), Hayden Withers (Dimboola).
Coach: Braden Clark (Kaniva).
Team Manager: Roger Clark (Kaniva).
Assistant Team Manager: Gary Mills (Kaniva).
Umpire: Jordan Clark (Kaniva) (as well as umpiring for the other teams where possible).
Inter-league senior team
The Wimmera Men's representative hockey team will be playing a team from the North Central zone at Lord Nelson Park at St Arnaud this Saturday afternoon (24 May). The game is to be played in conjunction with the Wimmera v. North Central inter-league football match being played at the same venue on that day.
Organiser of the inter-league team Simon King said that this match would be “a warm up for the State Country Championships that are to be held at the Footscray Hockey Centre in Melbourne over the long weekend in June.”
King said that “All six Wimmera open hockey teams are represented in the squad for the State Country Championships and the intention is to again enter two teams. The final teams will be named after the game against North Central and a series of practice sessions at the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre’s hockey pitch on Monday evenings prior to the long weekend.”
- Rachel Clark, WHA Records Secretary 2014