WITHIN REACH: Wests speedster Jade Emblem battles with Swifts/Thistles defender Erin Alchin in Saturday’s A-grade match. Wests won 4-0.
WITHIN REACH: Wests speedster Jade Emblem battles with Swifts/Thistles defender Erin Alchin in Saturday’s A-grade match. Wests won 4-0. Rob Williams

Amy enjoys new role working with slick teenagers

BEING surrounded by players half her age could be a daunting prospect for Amy Nicholls.

However, the Wests' A grade captain welcomes the opportunity.

With husband Brent as co-coach and Brent's daughter Gabby a leading striker, Amy has helped develop Ipswich's next generation of exciting A-graders.

"I'm very happy with the young girls coming through,'' said the Basin Pocket mum, whose son Archie turns two in November.

"I'm loving the senior role this year.

"It's a really great bunch of girls.''

Having started hockey as a 12-year-old, the former state player likes seeing so much enthusiasm coming into finals.

"It's totally different not being the young one in the team,'' she said.

Nicholls played her juniors with Hancocks and shared in the club's previous senior grand final win.

She also enjoyed success with Wests over the years, before helping boost the club's A-grade ranks.

Wests meet minor premiers Hancocks in Sunday's qualifying final where the winner advances to the grand final on September 12.

Although Wests have matched Hancocks and beat them in the mid-season final, Nicholls was cautious.

"They are certainly not to be taken lightly,'' Nicholls said.

Nicholls rated winning the intercity combined competition final as the team's most pleasing recent performance.

"For a young group, we're just happy to be where we are,'' she said.

Nicholls showed she has lost none of her strike force by slamming in the fourth goal from a penalty corner in Saturday's 4-0 win over Swifts/Thistles.

Gabby scored two goals after colliding heavily with Swifts/Thistles captain Bridget McLean in the first half.

The state junior player had a short break to recover before returning to the field.

Erin Mackay also scored.

In a Wests line-up dominated by teenagers, another experienced player has gone about her business without fuss this year.

Brihony Simpson celebrated her 40th birthday at the weekend, with the team decorating the dugout with balloons in her honour.