15 years on, Susie shares why she still helps Swifts
WHEN you are as loyal and dedicated as Susie Marcussen, you could naturally expect premiership successes to be among your highlights.
But while sharing in grand final glory with Swifts has been enjoyable, Australian masters player Marcussen offers another response having been with the Bluebirds "since the very first game'' in 2006.
"Everyone sort of says 'what are your favourite memories' and one of them is actually the year I don't think we ever won a game,'' she said, reflecting on her 15 seasons at the Ipswich hockey club.
"That was my favourite year.
"It was just a challenge. It was just getting together . . . and every game that you played was a learning experience.
"A lot of kids nowadays, if they lose, get all sookie and stuff.
"But we went on and won a few premierships.''
After seeking an Ipswich A-Grade hockey side to join in 2006, Marcussen savoured the opportunity to "to help out'' having played in Brisbane since she was 16.
The Swifts A-Grade side Marcussen joined was the club's only team in its debut year.
Fifteen years later, the self-confessed on-field "roamer'' has risen from an inaugural Swifts player to a seasoned, versatile team leader.
"I'm getting towards the back again,'' she said of her current position.
"I've had a few years where I have played at the back and then halfway through the season, they have moved me back up again.
"I play wherever I fit and it's just kind of like, I can go anywhere.''
Although Toowoomba side Past High is her primary club, the dual registered player still lines up for Swifts at every opportunity.
In past seasons, she had to play for Past High against Swifts during the annual Combined Competition between the two cities.
But generally she is able to play in Toowoomba on Friday nights before joining her Swifts teammates for Saturday or Sunday encounters at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.
Having adult children now, she can work evenings at Coles in Toowoomba and continue her passion for the game.
"It's great because I've got my days and I just do my night shifts,'' the affable sportswoman said.
"I can put away my hockey money, as I call it.''
Nicknamed "Foxie'', she started playing school hockey in year five with her sister at Oakey.
She also enjoyed playing with her cousins, including Karen Smith who later became an Australian Hockeyroo.
Marcussen ventured on to Past HIgh and Rangeville in the Toowoomba competition and on to Brisbane clubs Commercial and Valleys.
But how the premiership winner got to join the first Swifts team in 2006 is a story in itself.
After being denied a spot on another Ipswich club team, she was offered a place at Swifts. That followed a chat to Rodger Grulke, the Ipswich Hockey regional coaching director at the time.
"I said (to Grulke) what team should I go to?'' Marcussen said.
"I said I didn't want to just walk into the best team. I'd rather work with a team that needs some help.
"He said 'there's actually this team starting up' and I thought 'okay, I'll try them'.
"That's how it started.''
An added bonus was having some familiar faces at Swifts.
"My idol was Ammo (former state player Anne-Marie Callow) so I walked into the room and I knew quite a few of the girls already,'' Marcussen said.
"It all went from there.''
Callow was one of the senior players in the inaugural team, which was co-founded by coach Nathan Hooper, Bronwyn Webb, Bonita Tyler and Susan Gregory.
Pleased with her decision, Marcussen stuck with the Bluebirds who later won A-Grade premierships in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. She missed one due to a clash between Ipswich and Toowoomba finals.
In masters hockey, Marcussen has represented Queensland for the past 10 years and made Australian sides chosen for two World Cup competitions.
The midfielder played a vital role in the silver medal success of the Australian over-40s side in Spain in 2018.
She was chosen again to represent Australia at last year's World Cup in South Africa. Unfortunately, the masters tournament was called off.
She is preparing to represent Toowoomba at the next state masters championships in Warwick in June.
The ever-reliable hockey player keeps fit doing sprints "to keep in touch''. She used to do regular long runs 4-5 times a week after looking after herself in the off-season.
As she has for so many years, Marcussen still encourages Swifts younger players rising into the A-Grade ranks.
"I think we are probably at the bottom again but it doesn't really matter as long as you learn from it,'' she said.
If Marcussen has any say it, Swifts will be an improved team to watch by season's end.
Ipswich Hockey Association
Men's and boy's fixtures March 26-28 (Field, Time, Umpires, Tech Bench).
Friday: A2 Grade - Hancock Brothers v Easts, 1, 7pm, Arthur Richard/Herron Jonathan, P Hardie.
A Grade: Hancock Brothers v Easts, 1, 8:30pm, Arthur, Richard/Kinnane, Brent, P Hardie/C Gotting.
Saturday: J2 Grade - Easts Black v Wests, 2, 10:10am, Jackwitz Steele/Profke, Bella, Jo Herron; Hancock Brothers v Easts Gold, 4, 10:10am, Wells, Abby/McPeake, Kiana-Lynne.
J1 Grade: Wests White v Easts, 1, 1pm, McManus, Ben/Hudson, Stuart, M Follett.
R2 Grade: Easts Black v Norths, 2, 1pm, Profke, Riley/Brown, Shane, T Doyle; Easts Gold v Wests, 2, 4pm, Herron, Jonathan/Hudson, Stuart, B Gotting/M Follett.
Reserve: Hancock Brothers v Easts, 1, 5:30pm, Arthur, Richard/Collier, Jasmine, C Gotting/P Hardie; Norths v Wests, 2, 5:30pm, McManus, Ben/Eleison, Mark, J Walker.
A2 Grade: Northern Strikers v Wests, 2, 7pm, Arthur, Richard/Kinnane, Brent, J Walker.
Sunday: J1 Grade - Hancock Brothers v Norths, 1, 11:30am, Herron, Jonathan/Hudson, Stuart, P Hardie/M Follett; Bellbowrie v Wests Black, 2, 1pm, Profke, Riley/Kinnane, Brent, C Gotting
R2 Grade: Hancock Brothers v Bellbowrie, 2, 2:30pm, Eleison, Abby/Brown, Shane, P Hardie.
A Grade: Wests v Norths, 1, 4pm, Eleison, Mark/Michel, Hayden, J Walker.
Byes: A2 Grade - Swifts; J2 Grade - Norths.
Women's and girls fixtures March 26-28 (Field, Time, Umpires, Tech Bench).
Friday: A2 Grade - Hancock Brothers v Wests, 2, 7pm, Hocking, Hugh/McPeake, Kiana-Lynne, R Chandler; Bellbowrie v Swifts, 2, 8:30pm, Hocking, Hugh, McPeake/Kiana-Lynne, R Chandler.
Saturday: E Grade - Hancock Brothers v Easts, 1, 10:10am, Hollis, Jazmine/Meloury, Aliesha; Wests v Swifts, 3, 10:10am, McPeake, Tamara/Mole, Paige; Northern Strikers v Thistles, 5, 10:10am, Simpson, Hannah/Baldwin, Sophie.
D Grade: Hancock Brothers v Norths, 1, 11:30am, Mole, Paige/Baldwin, Sophie, R Chandler; Easts v Swifts, 2, 11:30am, Wells, Abby/Alchin, Pauline, L Leeder.
A2 Grade: Thistles v Vets, 2, 2:30pm, Profke, Riley/Gotting, Bernie, T Doyle.
R2 Grade: Swifts v Norths, 1, 2:30pm, McPeake, Kiana-Lynne/Herron, Jonathan, P Hardie.
Reserve: Hancock Brothers v Norths, 1, 4pm, Kinnane, Brent/Eleison, Mark, P Hardie/E Klepzig.
A Grade: Thistles v Easts, 1, 7pm, Eleison, Mark/Collier, Jasmine, C Gotting/E Klepzig.
Sunday: C Grade - Thistles/Hancocks v Swifts, 1, 10am, McPeake, Kiana-Lynne/Herron, Jonathan, R Chandler; Northern Strikers v Easts, 2, 11:30am, Stenzel, Rhys/Alchin, Pauline, C Gotting.
R2 Grade: Bellbowrie Green v Easts, 1, 1pm, Eleison, Abby/Profke, Zac, M Follett.
Reserve: Thistles v Wests, 1, 2:30pm, Walker, Nat/McManus, Ben, B Gotting; Bellbowrie v Swifts, 2, 4pm, McManus, Ben/Nipperess-Sims, Christina, P Hardie.
A Grade: Hancock Brothers v Wests, 1, 5:30pm, Walker, Nat/Profke, Zac, J Walker/E Klepzig.
R2 Grade: Bellbowrie Gold vVets, 2, 5:30pm, Nipperess-Sims, Christina/Hudson, Stuart, P Hardie.
Byes: A Grade - Swifts; Reserve - Easts; R2 Grade - Hancock Brothers; D Grade - Wests.