Veterans off state

GRAFTON’S number one over-50s side will step into unknown territory when they enter the A-division for the first time at this year’s State Championships.

The titles will be on home turf with play from Friday to Sunday at the Grafton Hockey Complex.

Grafton will be relying on their former and current five state players to lead the way.

Goalie Brett Condie is one of the best in the division and will be supported by halves Andrew Terrey and Peter Ryder who have great midfield distribution skills.

This will allow strikers Barry Livermore and Neville Lollback plenty of good ball for an onslaught on the opposition goals.

Players who will definitely have an impact are youngsters Brian Napper, Greg Harvison and Dave Morrison.

The Grafton number one team is: Brett Condie, Neville Lollback, Dave Morrison, Peter Gibbons, Peter Hackett, Peter Ryder, Wayne Conyard, Dennis Greensill, Andrew Terrey, Barry Livermore, Stephen Haines, Owen Hindmarsh, Greg Harvison, Brian Napper and Geoff Lancaster.

The number twos are a blend of over-55s and are supported by players Mark Andrews, Craig Want, Greg Crompton and Greg Brotherson.

Grafton Hockey Association is pleased that a small association now competes in A-division from under-13s to over-60s. It is a sign of good administration and a complex that is regarded among the best in NSW. This weekend our under-17 team is also away at State Titles at Lithgow.

Once again in 2010 it will be jam-packed year for Grafton hockey with three State Titles coming to the Clarence Valley. This weekend it is the over-50s, then the under-15s on May 14-16. The concluding State Title is the NSW CHS Inter-Regional for girls in early July. The sports tourism benefit to the local community is expected to total upwards of $750,000 for hosting the three titles.

NSW Veterans Hockey president Andrew Terrey said this week’s event is the ‘backbone’ of the sport in the state.

“It is largely responsible for any success in the lower age groups,” he said.

“This particularly applies to regional hockey and Grafton is an excellent example with five representatives in the state NHL squad.

“This is largely due to veterans hockey providing coaches and administrators. This is not lost on NSW hockey who takes veterans hockey very seriously.”

Grafton Veterans Committee president Ken Davison expected a supporter windfall in the coming days.

“The NSW over-50s State Titles bring to our city over 500 players and supporters,” he said.

“Grafton has its July Racing Carnival, Jacaranda Festival and State Hockey Titles that has a great impact each year on our local economy. We know many of you will extend your visit to explore our beaches.”

It is a sign of a complex that is regarded among the best in NSW.

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