Top coach welcomes Souths to comp
ROCKHAMPTON Hockey's most successful coach in recent times has applauded former Park Avenue star Brent Sweeney's decision to start a new club in Gladstone.
Aaron Harmsworth's Wanderers outfit continued on their winning ways with a comprehensive 11-1 win over the Gladstone-based Souths in Rockhampton on Saturday afternoon, while Sweeney's men struggled to find their feet in the opening Central Queensland League fixture of the year.
But, despite his side recording a comfortable win, Harmsworth said that as the season wore on the new outfit would only get stronger.
“They're a young team so they'll get better,” he said.
“Full credit to Brent Sweeney and a few of the experienced blokes at the club.
“I think it's a huge effort by him. He could've easily played for Sparks down there, but good on him for starting a new club.”
While brother Todd is away with Australian Country representative commitments, Harmsworth used the fixture to give some of his own younger players an opportunity in the A1 men's competition.
Sixteen-year-old Dylan Plummer made his first appearance in A1 men's hockey and looked comfortable in the top grade, while a couple of the senior players in Andrew Landsberg and Steven Evans scored doubles.
“(Dylan) played well. He didn't look out of place at all,” Harmsworth said.
Harmsworth said having a new club in the competition would not only ensure variety for hockey players in the region, but would allow teams to have a break during the season.
“I like the fact that we now have a bye. It gives you a weekend off during a time when you don't normally get many,” he said.
The 2011 season not only marks the admission of Gladstone Southside, but it is the first time the A1 women's competition has extended to the CQ League.
Gladstone Sparks proved once again they will be tough competition for the Rockhampton sides with both the A1 men's (3-1) and women's (5-0) sides notching up wins over Rockhampton Southside.