Action from the A-Grade match between Norths and Wests at the Ipswich Hockey Complex. Norths won 2-0. Picture: Darren J McCabe Photography
Action from the A-Grade match between Norths and Wests at the Ipswich Hockey Complex. Norths won 2-0. Picture: Darren J McCabe Photography

Ex-Aussie player leads by example achieving goals in Ipswich

HAVING represented Australia 87 times, Jade Close knows how to score goals at the most important times.

She did again in Wests' latest A-Grade match, helping her team secure a 2-1 victory over early Ipswich competition pacesetters Thistles.

Close netted the second goal after the team's youngest player Amity Jackson scored the Magpies first.

Scoring goals is nothing new for Close, who shared in two previous Wests A-Grade premierships after moving from NSW three years ago.

However, this season, she has accepted a valuable new role as player/coach, working with club stalwart Vanessa Kissane.

"I think it's actually quite good because her ability to be a defensive sort of coach and I'm attacking and midfield,'' Close said. "So it's actually quite a good complement.''

Together, Close and Kissane are focused on a major development goal.

Close is happy to share her international experience, exposing as many young players to A-Grade in this year's shorter season.

"It's getting lots of kids in and around, demonstrating the hard work and the culture of what we're trying to develop and progress through for next year,'' the former Hockeyroo said.

EXPERIENCE MATTERS: Wests benefit from national league guidance

 

Former Australian striker and current Wests player/coach Jade Close. Picture: Cade Mooney
Former Australian striker and current Wests player/coach Jade Close. Picture: Cade Mooney

Close is thrilled to have such a promising group of players to work with.

"We've actually got seven or eight 14, 15 year olds and the remaining are between 20 and 22 and myself as a 32-year-old,'' she said, happy with the early progress.

"They have actually exceeded my initial thoughts on what we can put on the field.''

Close said the young players are taking the information on board and transferring that into games.

That was highlighted when Wests came from 1-0 down to upstage the previously unbeaten Thistles combination.

HIGHER GOALS: Thistles goalkeeper looking to Junior World Cup

Close made her Australian debut in 2010, having also played at national league level since she was 15.

"I really enjoy giving back and showing that development,'' she said of her latest coaching opportunity.

Asked what the toughest part was she answered: "I don't think there's one particular thing. I think it's all quite challenging.''

However, she was quick to offer the most satisfying aspect of coaching.

"Seeing the kids grow and develop in the game'' as they are at Wests in this year's shortened Ipswich hockey competition.

In the other A-Grade women's encounter, Hancocks beat Easts 2-0.

Hancocks were also comfortable winners in the latest men's A-Grade games with Jackson Willie netting five goals in their 10-0 win over Easts.

Defending premiers Norths continued their steady form with a 2-0 victory over winless Wests.

DEVILISH THREAT: Norths at best when goals start flowing

STATE OF PLAY

Women's and girls - August 14-16

A Grade: Wests 2 (Jade Close, Amity Jackson) d Thistles 1 (Nicole Yearbury); Hancock Brothers 2 (Sara Rogers, Sarina Butta) d Easts 0.

Reserve Grade: Northern Strikers 1 (S Ashton) d Swifts 0; Wests 2 (E Picton) d Thistles 1 (T Wright); Easts 1 (J Fewquandie) d Hancocks 0.

R2 Grade: Easts 6 (L Savage 2, J Davidson-Fewquandie, H O'Brien, L Minnican, C Memory) d Bellbowrie Green 1 (C Murren); Veterans 5 (K Pudwell 2, K Black 2, L Barnes) d Bellbowrie Gold 2 (C Bancroft-Davis, S Ashton).

A2 Grade: Thistles 5 (C Hannah, C Liddell, L Steele, C Gotting, T Wright) d Hancock Brothers 0; Bellbowrie 1 (D Greenalsh) d Norths 0; Veterans 2 (C Gorton, D Dannock) d Swifts 0.

C Grade: Hancock Brothers 3 (L Doyle 2, E-J Harrison) d Thistles 1 (A Brown); Bellbowrie 3 (G Richardson 2, H Randall) d Norths 2 (E Noga, D Wenzel-Stephan).

D Grade: Easts 6 (L Mitchell 2, S Suey 2, G Batten, B Smith) d North Western Strikers 2 (M Doyle, T McPeake); Swifts 7 (E West 4, A Harris, A Pascoe, A Parkin) d Hancock Brothers 1 (H Hogan).

E Grade: Easts 8 (S Savage 2, V Tange 2, D Hollis 2, J Hansen, L Smith) d Western Strikers 0; Norths 4 (B Profke 2, H Johnson, K Parlett) d Swifts 1 (C Philp).

Norths sharpshooter Zac Profke. Picture: Darren J McCabe Photography
Norths sharpshooter Zac Profke. Picture: Darren J McCabe Photography

Men's and boys results August 14-16

A Grade: Norths 2 (Zac Profke, Ayden Buckley) d Wests 0; Hancock Brothers 10 (Jackson Willie 5, Ryan Smith 3, Jay Pavitt, Hayden Michel 1) d Easts 0.

Reserve Grade: Hancock Brothers 5 (K Tierney 2, A McNamara, J Pavitt, L McQueen) d Easts 1 (K Bezuidenhout); Wests 3 (M Wiseman 2, L Alchin) d Norths 2 (A Buckley, R Profke).

R2 Grade: Norths 3 (B Smith, T Short, T Ross) d Hancock Brothers 2 (D Pavitt, A Pavitt); Easts Gold 1 (M Tange) drew Bellbowrie 1 (B Payton); Easts Black 3 (A Gawthorne 2, L Davies) d Wests 0; Norths 2 (T Wode, T Ross) d Easts Black 0; Bellbowrie 4 (A Tham, H Hocking, C Meloury, M Bell) d Wests 1 (P Smith); Hancock Brothers 4 (J Burns 2, L McQueen, C Fox-White) d Easts Gold 2 (R Pickering, R Adie).

A2 Grade: Easts 5 (T Cook 2, M Pickering 2, R Adie) d Hancock Brothers 4 (P Jackwitz 2, B Kinnane, J Grant); Swifts 4 (Z Pascoe 2, A Backen, S Halsey) d Northern Strikers 2 (A Woods 2).

D Grade: Easts 6 (Luke Morris 3, Owen Maher, T Savage, B McPherson) d Northern Strikers 0; Hancock Brothers 3 (S Jackwitz 2, K Daly) d Wests 1 (H Black).

E Grade: Western Strikers 2 (M Hitchenor 2) d Easts Gold 1 (C Malcolm); Easts Black 3 (N Morris 3) d Norths 1 (J Cox).