Time for hockey players to head indoors is fast approaching
INDOOR hockey is not exactly Grafton's most popular format of the sport, but its time could be coming closer.
The prediction came from Darryl Clark, who coached the under-13 Grafton division one team at the indoor hockey state championships in Penrith last week.
He said there had already been discussions about a larger indoor hockey presence in the Jacaranda City, but the availability of venues made it difficult.
"Without a doubt," Clark said about the sport growing in Grafton.
"Most of the division one team has played in indoor competitions before but it is still a completely different sport to them.
"We do five weeks of training before going away and there's a six-week local competition at the start of the year.
"It's pretty hard to get it going as venues like the basketball stadium (Grafton Sports Centre) are quite busy and have a lot of other sports.
"It's something we've spoken about and could look at in future."
Grafton 1 went through their pool games undefeated to finish first, and battled through to the grand final.
They fell 3-0 to Macarthur in that game, but to get there is a mighty achievement in itself, according to Clark.
"They play a lot of field hockey but know only the basics of indoor," Clark said.
"As a coach, it makes us proud. For the girls to go through their pool games undefeated, and beat the powerhouses, like Illawarra, is brilliant.
"They were stoked to get through those pool games let alone to the grand final."
Their run to the grand final was made even better when Ellynie Cameron was picked in the New South Wales team.
Clark said Cameron, who has already played field hockey and cricket at high representative levels, deserved her selection.
"I don't like singling one player out but she deserved it," Clark said.
"She's been to state before for field hockey.
"She was our striker - our go-to girl. As great as she was, she might not have made it if the rest of the girls didn't play well."
Grafton's division two team was mostly made up of players who had not played much indoor before, and they ended up playing off for fourth.
It may not be long before they battle for glory, however, with Grace Young named development player of the tournament.
The under-13 boys second division team lost their semi-final to eventual winners Manning Valley.
- Grafton 1: Macy Woods, Grace Clark, Phoebe Brown, Bec Hutchinson, Molly Hargans, Ellynie Cameron, Francis Williams.