Defending premiers have fun while winning
ONE of Ipswich's most successful hockey coaches will have another dual role at the Ipswich Hockey Complex today.
Wests stalwart Brent Nicholls will oversee the club's Reserve Grade clash with Easts at 3.15pm before coaching the Magpies women in the 5pm A-Grade showdown.
Although he played for Wests during the season, Nicholls said his main focus today was as coach, helping them build on the minor premiership they won.
Easts needed a golden goal in extra time to beat Hancocks 5-4 in last weekend's preliminary final to reach the grand final.
Nicholls is confident the Wests Reserve Graders can finish the season on a high today.
"It's a really good group,'' he said of the defending premiers, captained by midfield/striker Corey Jaenke.
"The guys have fun. They train hard but they like to have a beer together and really embrace what I think Reserve Grade hockey is all about.''
The team includes seasoned players like Michael Wiseman, Damian Goodwin, Christian Coulson-Futcher, Aaron Gotting and international umpire Steve Rogers.
Their Easts opponents also have some of Ipswich's most loyal players like goalkeeper Stu Darby, captain Luke Woodford, Dean Boughen, Lindsay Marsh, Ipswich Hockey Volunteer of the Year Paul Malcolm and Daniel Mantell.
Wests White and Swifts clash in the earlier Reserve Grade women's grand final at 1.30pm.
Wests White defeated Norths 2-0 in last weekend's preliminary final.
Swifts are defending Reserve Grade women's champions having beaten Wests 5-2 last year.
Today's grand finals start at 10am with R2 women's encounter between Veterans and Thistles.