The hockey season in Parkes got off to a great start with the Under 18 team coming home with gold from the state championships last weekend.
The Parkes U18 team won Division 2 of the 2022 Junior State Championship in Moorebank, Sydney. The grand final was an all Central West affair with Parkes beating Bathurst 3 – 1.
First time coach for the U18 team, and former Australian player, Will Searl said: “It is a great feeling, there is nothing better. The boys played out of their skins, and to go undefeated in the championship was a big effort.”
The Parkes team played four round games on Friday and Saturday beating Manning Valley 5 – 0, Northern Sydney Beaches 4 – 0, Bathurst 4 – 2 and Port Macquarie 3 – 0 finishing first in their pool. In the semi-final at 8:30am on Sunday morning they beat Far North Coast 4 – 1 for a place in the grand final at 12:15pm when they beat Bathurst again to become the State U18 champions.
The win also means that the team moves up to Division 1, which is where every hockey player would like to be according to Will. As most of the players, except three, are still 16 or 17 years old, the team would be able to compete again in next year’s championship.
Will said three months of hard work and preparation paid off for an amazing result. He paid tribute to first time manager Jordan Grosvenor for ‘managing a tight ship and keeping the boys in line”, and gave a shout out to the parents for their contribution to get the boys to training and travelling with them.
Will thanked the team’s sponsors: Dean Uptin’s Water Services, Railway Hotel, Kitson Manufacturing, Geoff Rice and TSG.
By Maggi Barnard