Just 12 years ago ABC had four men's teams. One evening at Glenn Gilbert's house a plot was hatched with Graeme Moscrip to enter one more senior two team. The team was last halfway in its first season with no wins, but a year later with the same personnel won that grade with a run of 20 games undefeated. Two future Black Sticks, one still playing Prems for ABC, came through as Year 9s in that team.
More importantly growth meant opportunity and opportunity lead to more growth with ABC fielding three more teams in the divisional grades over the following years. ABC now accommodates players of all ages and abilities in Division 1 (two teams) and following the formation of the Lads and Dads team in 2023, four teams in Division 2. Together with the re-establishment of the Premier team, ABC now offers a pathway from entry level to Prems.
Recently all four D2 teams were playing simultaneously in two Division 2 derbies, which is a first in Men's hockey on the Shore, and the photo above shows the broad demographic playing.
The Yellow team has a core of several experienced players who are mentoring those who are knocking on the door of Division 1. Maroon also has a core of experience and its focus is on those who are earlier in their hockey journey including four players in years 9 and 10. Black is generally a core of Masters players who have played together for some time and enjoy one another's company. And the newly formed Lads and Dads team has e from a group of some talented older teenagers and youth hockey players who have inspired their Dads to pick up their hockey sticks.