Updated: Aug 4, 2020
This year we formed a third Division 2 team, Maroon, which mainly comprises recent school leavers, early on in their ABC career, supported by a handful of (much) older players and (much) younger players. The team is still finding its feet as the players become accustomed to each other. Maroon has had a relatively easy start to the season with two wins against two of the weaker teams in the grade and a close loss to NSU. This week was a bit of a wake up call with a loss to ABC Yellow, one of the top teams in the grade - and the next two weeks will be a challenge as well. This team is captained by life member, Wayne Highet.
Black has had a great start with two wins and two draws and are performing much more strongly than last year with similar personnel. This team is playing good, structured hockey and have been largely intact through a winter season, Masters and now a second winter season. They have been strengthened with a couple of new recruits. Richard Van der Vegte has done a great job building this team and Dan Johnson guides them as captain.
Yellow is our strongest team with some very talented youth players being nurtured by old hands. They had a tough start to the season with several injuries to key players in their 20s which made it hard to physically compete against two other teams that will challenge for honours this season. Yellow came roaring back with a very comfortable win against Maroon on 11 July. Dwayne Carroll manages this team which is captained by John Sellar.
The teams train together for an hour and a half every Tuesday. We regularly have 30+ across the squads attending (compared to ten years ago when the only Division 2 / Senior 3 team didn't train at all): we start with an all squad warm up which allows new friendships to develop, and then move to squad specific sessions led by John Bonneywell (Yellow), Nic Knowles (Black) and Gerard Tan (Maroon).
This weekend Black were playing at a similar time to the Yellow / Maroon game and the squads retired to Columbus Coffee (run by Yellow player Danny Wrigley) for a catered three course meal washed down with some liquid refreshment.
There are several father-son combinations across Divison 2 - Blathwayts, Bonneywells, D'Souzas, Hensman, Holts (3), Horans. Others with relatives in higher grades Sellar, Sukha, Van der Vegte. We have a pair of siblings, Wrigley. And two players with partners in the women's grade - Kennedy, Wessels.
Wayne Highet, Peter Fitzsimons and John Brocklebank each have around 30 years' service with the club.
The squads assemble for pre-match team talks
And enjoy each others' company at Columbus Coffee for a meal