IN 33 years, Wendy Jackson has had just one year away from the Grafton hockey fields.

That was 20 years ago, when she was pregnant with her daughter Sophie Attwater.

Whether it was playing, umpiring or helping with rosters, the hockey stalwart has remained committed to the game.

Today both mother and daughter will take to the field in the women's grand final - Wendy's last game of hockey for the Village Green Angels.

Sophie was practically raised at the Fisher Park complex and one of her first memories is of her dad making her a mini hockey stick by cutting a full stick in half.

"I've played pretty much since I could walk," she said.

Sophie eventually joined her mother's team last year and said, while it was "daunting" at first, they've got to know each other a whole lot better.

"We used to play at either side of the field but now when I pass she seems to be there.

"It must be the mother-daughter instinct.

"It's brought us a whole lot closer together too; we have a really strong bond."

Sophie said she's been a bit teary this week leading up to the big game but that she's very proud of mum Wendy (46) who is about to head off to Nepal for a month to do volunteer nursing before spending a year travelling round Australia doing rural nursing in emergency departments.

"She's really excited about it all and I am too, but I'm going to miss her," Sophie said.

But for Sophie, there will always be fond memories of growing up around hockey.

"I was always at the hockey fields every weekend and I just loved it," she said.

"Because I've grown up there, everyone knows everyone. There's a great atmosphere as well."

She said she hoped the mother-daughter combination would help the Angels win the women's AR1 grand final against the Grafton High Teals.

"But either way, it's just so nice that our last game together is a grand final.

"I'm so nervous."

Might Wendy return to the field when she gets back from her trip? Sophie is keeping her hopes up.

Full coverage of this weekend's games in today's Daily Examiner.



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