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2023 Season



Richard Van Der Vegte
Emily Whitby



2023 Season Round Up

The 2023 season started with a group of fathers who played Summer Master’s hockey for the first time. This inspired the idea to assemble a team of Fathers and Sons. Richard Van Der Vegte championed the idea with the club, and the Lads and Dads team was formed.


The team consisted of:

18 Regular players

1 Casual player

- 7 Dads,

- 5 Secondary school player,

- 4 University students,

- 2 Adult players from the Summer Master’s team

- 1 Casual son player

The first game against Poppadoms was interesting, especially for the lads who had come to division two to play with their dads and were not expecting the division to be as competitive as it was, as we lost 7-1. Our next game against Tigers was not much better as we again lost, and we were now at the bottom of the table and left re-evaluating ourselves.


Fortunately, the team had a turnaround after this rocky start, and we began climbing up the table due to significant reshuffling of the positions to pull the rabbit out of the hat and ultimately finish the season second equal and being the lead ABC team for the competition.


Unfortunately, the playoffs didn’t quite live up to our hype as we started it off by drawing with ABC Yellow, following it up with two losses, putting us face to face with Takapuna Black and facing relegation to (new) Division 3 for 2024. However, the Lads and Dads did pull through, and we did have a convincing 7- 0 win against Takapuna. Putting us in the plate finals, where all 18 of us came to play, resulting in us bringing in an extra goalie to have a card of 18 players. This ultimately didn’t help, as we lost 4-2 despite being up 2-0 at the end of the first quarter.


The season was very different from other teams, given the family connections, but overall, it was fun for all. Attendance at training was pretty good overall, given most of the team had other activities and situations to deal with. We handed out the POTD award (almost) every week whilst trying to find the knob of the day. We found that a different player had stepped up and got the POTD award each week.


In the eyes of some, you could say we underperformed given the strength of the lads as we had two lads in the North Harbour under 18s and two in the under 16s, as well as a handful of very good university students, one of which may even have secured the golden stick award as he scored 20 goals. However, we successfully secured second equal in the round robin, a second team for ABC in the division two competition for 2024 and played on finals day.


Overall, the team has improved, and while some of the younger players still want to run too far with the ball and, from a coaching perspective, is still a work in progress. I’m sure the team will be stronger next year as both the Lads and Dads have improved over the season, and we do expect a good number of the players to return next year, depending on the club’s selection policy for division two.


Special thanks to Emily Whitby, our manager, who navigated the PlayHQ app, got our game day

subbing bench in order, and ensured we had our sugar intake at ½ time with our sweets. She kept everyone in check, including the coach, and ensured everyone had good game time.


Roll on 2024!

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