Best of Grafton Hockey to play at Sydney championships
GRAFTON Hockey Association open men's side is making the long trek to Moorebank in Sydney's south-west to do battle at the New South Wales field championships this weekend.
Representatives are chosen from a pool of the best players to have played in the Grafton Hockey Association.
Five players have been selected from the local competition, including state championships debutant Callan Clare, to play alongside a collection of Grafton's finest ex-pats playing in the Sydney metropolitan competition.
"I am really keen to get down there and play with all the boys from the Metro competition," Clare said. "It is great to be selected to represent the association at the top level in the State."
"It is going to be a very different game of hockey in the championships. It will be a lot faster and a lot more skill, but I am ready to get a feel for it and rip in."
Clare said extra effort put into the off-season by his Royals side was possibly a catalyst for his selection.
"We were doing five days of training leading into the season and I think it has really paid off for me this year," he said.
The opens team will be managed by local veteran and Australian over-50s representative Michael Russ, who brings a wealth of experience to the side.
"Russy is a good bloke and he has done a heap in hockey. He really knows a lot about the game so it will be good to have him leading us and it will be good to pick his brains a bit," Clare said.
Grafton City Bears centre-half Jacob Purser, who has only recently returned from a stint in the metropolitan competition, will also be representing Grafton.
"It will be good to get back in to it," Purser said. "We'll be playing with all the guys that I've been with in the past couple of years."
Saturday, June 6
8am, Turf Field: Sydney East v Grafton
1:25pm, Turf Field: Central Coast v Grafton
4:40pm, Turf Field: Metro South West v Grafton
Sunday, June 7
11:15am, Turf Field: Grafton v Newcastle
2:30pm, Turf Field: Grafton v Northern Syd & Beaches
Monday, June 8
8am, Turf Field: Semi-Final 1
9.05am, Turf Field: Semi Final 2
1.25pm, Turf Field: Final
*Regardless of finish, Grafton will play a final match on Monday