Local strikers show skills

STRIKERS are the show ponies of hockey.

Commonly referred to as wingers and centre forward, all strikers need speed and a range of goal-scoring skills. These include direct hits, tomahawk, sweep shot, deflection and flicks.

They have a defensive role in marking the opposing half-line if playing man to man. Australian coach Ric Charlesworth has these forwards hunting as a press to try to force errors by the opposing defence.

The short list of strikers is a wonderful array of the talent developed on the local scene.

  • Vic Wunderlich - a positional right-winger who always played with width.Records of his prowess were noted in 1964, when he was judged the best in the final. His representative career included many New South Wales and Australian Veterans selections. His motto was "condition is position and position is possession". A legend of Grafton hockey because of his contribution to coaching and administration.
  • Geoff Carr - Australian rugby league head honcho and a gifted sportsman who excelled in hockey and rugby league. He was Grafton's first state player when selected in the New South Wales Colts in 1965. A prolific goal scorer, who won finals with six- and three-goal hauls in 1967 and 1968.
  • Barry Livermore - "Bazza" was a goal-scoring freak. In 1967 he was the paper's best. Goalie Allan Crouch remembers the power of Livermore's hits, and particularly recalls his face being split like a melon from a shot on goal. A long list of representative selections that included NSW Veterans selection. Leader in securing Grafton's first synthetic surface.
  • Nick Inmon - emerged out of the 1990s as a New South Wales junior whiz kid with an uncanny ability to score goals against the best. The Barbarians stalwart first represented New South Wales in 1991.
  • Mark Pollock - in 1996 represented North Coast PSSA. Had an incredible ability to have the ball glued to his stick as he eliminated player after player with sorties into the circle. In 2009 named one of the forwards of the year. A former Royals player, "Pollo" is a happy camper with the Bears. A prodigious drag flicker on short corners.
  • Peter Kelly - The Royals super striker emerged in 1998 with state selection in the 14s. Represented Australia in under-17 in 2001. Represented New South Wales in all age groups from 14s-21s and a resident of the NSW Waratahs NHL Open team. Has toured the world with hockey and featured in this year's Indian Premier League.
  • Josh Wainwright - state representative career started in 1991 with NSW Country under-12. Held state positions in following years up to under-17, including NSWCHS. Young strikers try to emulate Wainwright, who is a master of the modern skills of deflections, tomahawks and sweep shots for his Barbarians team.

The dream team will be announced in The Daily Examiner in the grand final feature on Saturday.

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