Ipswich and South West Queensland hockey player Nathan Smith is leading an Ipswich composite side this weekend.
Ipswich and South West Queensland hockey player Nathan Smith is leading an Ipswich composite side this weekend. Lee Oliver

'Good young athlete' given chance to lead Ipswich

ONE of Ipswich's most skilful players has been rewarded with captaincy for this weekend's TigerTurf Cup competition in Brisbane.

Nathan Smith has been handed the honour by coach Adam Spry as Ipswich prepares to tackle some reputable opponents in the annual nine-a-side pre-season competition at Carina.

With Australian Country skipper Chris Mantell to assist Smith, Spry said it was a terrific opportunity to extend the young players experience.

"Nathan is a good young athlete and I think sometimes you just need to be given a leadership role to help improve them,'' Spry said. "And you put Chris in there. He's obviously a senior player who's been there a long time so hopefully he can help Nathan out.''

The Ipswich team has a mix of experience and youthful talent.

Spry said development of players was a major focus with Ipswich to tackle such sides as defending champions Ryde (from NSW), Bulimba and Labrador.

"We've got a pretty good young group. We've packed a few guys in there to help them out,'' Spry said.

Among the rising Ipswich players are Zac Profke, Matt West, Caleb Davies and Mitch Moran.

Brisbane competition players like Jimmy Day, Brett Manderson and Adam's son Tyler are joining Ipswich this weekend.

Ipswich's first game is at 11am on Saturday.

Ipswich squad: 1. Jacob Robertson, 2. Jay Pavitt, 3. Tim Woodford, 4. Nathan Smith (captain), 5. Ryan Smith, 6. Sam Morgan, 7. Trent Davison, 8. Mitch Moran, 9. Jimmy Day, 10. Lucas Alchin, 11. Brett Manderson, 12. Chris Mantell (vice-captain), 13. Tyler Spry, 14. Blake Douglas, 15. Zac Profke, 16. Matt West, 17. Caleb Davies. Coach: Adam Spry. Assistant coach/manager: Paul Malcolm.