EXPERIENCE COUNTS: Royals’ young gun Jordan Weller does his best to contain Sailors captain coach Scott Smith on Sunday. PHOTO: SHANE SEDGER
EXPERIENCE COUNTS: Royals’ young gun Jordan Weller does his best to contain Sailors captain coach Scott Smith on Sunday. PHOTO: SHANE SEDGER

Wind in their sails with teacher showing the way

SAILORS captain coach Scott Smith and Royals midfielder Matt Lobsey have plenty in common.

Both are highly talented players who control the play and not only organise, but lift, the younger players around them.

There is little doubt that as school teachers, they both bring plenty of skills from the classroom to the turf each Sunday.

But with Lobsey away at the Catholic Schools Knockout in Tamworth on the weekend, Royals A-grade were left without the heart of their midfield structure.

While Lobsey's men at home were beaten 3-0 by Smith's Sailors outfit, he did enjoy leading his McCauley Catholic College Open Boys team to victory.

McCauley beat Tamworth's home side McCarthy in the final to claim the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges state championship on Friday.

"We got up 3-0 on Sunday and I think a lot of that was to do with the fact that Lobsey wasn't there in the Royals midfield,'' Smith said.

"The Royals young blokes stepped up and played well, but Lobsey is a key playmaker and really directs traffic for their team.

"Dane Bartholomew had a great game for them and is a natural athlete with plenty of speed."

Goals to Jye Reardon, Nathan Skeets and Barney Howard helped deliver Sailors the win, with the latter drawing special praise from Smith.

"Barney played a great game. He played with depth, structure and discipline and for him to score a goal was great," Smith said.

"He's really seeing the rewards for his work.

"Reece Amos was a standout again for us and he is just loving his hockey.

"He's training hard, was involved in the Catholic Colleges win and is really blossoming as a player."

The welcome mat was rolled out for the return of Sailors striker Joel Ward, who despite missing out on the score sheet was awarded players' player award from his team-mates.

"Joel adds a lot of firepower and strength on the ball, and while he didn't net one on Sunday, he did lots of creative work up front that allowed others to find the space to score."

The other match of the round saw Barbarians down City Bears 2-0.

Sailors play Bears this weekend and Smith says his team always looks forward to the challenge.

"Playing Bears is always tough competition, but always played in great spirit between our clubs," Smith said.

"We always seem to enjoy a close contest with Bears, we seem to step up a gear when we play them and I think they lift for us too.



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