2014 - Women's Country Championships Preview
Women’s Victorian Country Championships 2014
Saturday 7, Sunday 8 and Monday 9 June 2014
Wimmera hockey women to compete at Victorian Country Championships this weekend
Wimmera women will send a team to Geelong this long weekend (Saturday 7 to Monday 9 June 2014) to compete in the Victorian Women’s Country Championships. Otherwise known as Women’s Country Week, the three day hockey tournament showcases talent from across the state of Victoria.
A preliminary draw has all matches scheduled at Stead Park, Geelong, and Wimmera will relish the opportunity to play the full tournament on the artificial turf.
Wimmera will play in B division which is a division down from A Reserve where they competed last year and may see them more competitive once again.
There are currently 7 teams in B division: Wimmera, Goulburn Valley, Peninsula, LVHA, Maryborough, Portland, West Gippsland.
Wimmera will play 6 matches at this stage, once against each team, before semi finals and finals for B division are played on Monday.
An extra team may possibly be added to B division pending a final draw.
Games will consist of 2 x 20 minute halves.
Four out of the six Wimmera clubs will be represented at the championships.
Wimmera has plenty of attacking power with at least 8 forward players in the mix. With 11 players on the field at a time and five of them forward positions the line up is looking good for Wimmera. A fast forwardline should give plenty of attack which is important as in shortened games it is crucial to get scores on the board quickly. Four of the women in the Wimmera team are in the top 3 on the goal scoring tally in local competition so far this year, being Lauren Bendall, Lucy O’Connor, Stephanie Daly and Kelly Smithyman, which is an exciting statistic going into this tournament. A further three in the team have also scored goals for their local teams: Claire Barnett, Rachel Clark and Samantha Crowhurst.
With so many forwards some will need to adjust to some different playing positions including half back positions, which will be shared around.
A handful of defenders and two women who can each play goalie should keep the goals reasonably safe.
Wendy Crowhurst who is a strong centre half back for her Nhill team will provide stability in the position during the tournament.
Wimmera women have had various successes over the years, the most recent was a premiership in A Reserve in 2012. Five of the women from that team are participating again this year. There are also plenty of other experienced players at this level of competition making up the team, although some not for several years.
A touring team from the USA will provide a highlight to watch at the competition, competing in the highest division of A1.
Claire Barnett (Horsham), Rebecca Batchelor (Horsham), Lauren Bendall (Nhill), Helen Cannell (Nhill), Rachel Clark (Kaniva), Samantha Crowhurst (Nhill), Wendy Crowhurst (Nhill), Stephanie Daly (Nhill), Hannah Fredericks (Horsham), Elly O’Connor (Horsham), Lucy O’Connor (Horsham), Kelly Smithyman (Dimboola), Stefani Wyatt (Horsham). Country Week coordinators are Stephanie Daly and Helen Cannell.
- Rachel Clark, WHA Records Secretary 2014