Mates unite for Hancocks in tough pre-season hit-out
HOCKEY: The Hancocks men's side in this weekend's annual Tiger Turf Cup competition will be more a composite team than last year's Ipswich grand final champions.
However, Hancocks coach Sara Rogers is pleased to see players from other clubs join her side's regulars for this weekend's important pre-season hit-out.
"It's a bit of a mixed side,'' Rogers said, welcoming Norths recruits like Zac Profke and Dean Jeffrey into her 14-man squad.
"We will be playing under Hancocks but it's a few mates getting together really.''
The "Hancocks'' combination will tackle a number of Queensland's best men's outfits in the nine-a-side format on Saturday and Sunday at Carina.
Twelve teams have nominated for the tournament which many leading clubs use as part of the preparation for new competitions.
Ipswich's 2019 competition starts on March 15.
As she did as first-time Hancocks men's coach last year, fitness fanatic Rogers has already got her side improving their condition and introducing stick work.
She said Hancocks had retained most of the team which beat Norths 4-2 in last year's A-Grade grand final at Raceview.
The Hancocks men have enjoyed some pleasing pre-season trial results, including a 6-3 win over this weekend's opponents Redcliffe.
Other teams in Pool B are Brisbane sides Commercial and Kedron-Wavell.
The Tiger Turf Cup competition is played in 10 minute halves.
"It is a great tournament but it is quick,'' Rogers said, having lined up for her Brisbane side Ascot in last weekend's women's competition.
"It's over in a blink.
"It's really about getting a few touches on the ball and just get some cobwebs out.''
In addition to coaching the Hancocks men again and involvement with Australian Country sides, Rogers will continue playing for the Hancocks women and for Ascot in the Brisbane competition.
The Hancocks men claimed back-to-back premierships after the club's women matched Wests before losing their grand final 3-2.
The dedicated sportswoman is also assistant coach of the Queensland under-18 women's side preparing for national championships in Tasmania in April.
"I really enjoyed coaching the men. They are a really good group of boys,'' she said of her extra responsibilities last season.
Teams in this weekend's tournament play in Cup or Plate matches on Sunday after Saturday's results.
Teams from Sydney and the Gold Coast will join the Ipswich, Brisbane and Redcliffe combinations at the Clem Jones Sports Complex in a competition that features Queensland Blades and ex-Australian Kookaburras representatives.
Brisbane Easts won the last men's Tiger Turf Cup title, beating Sydney team Ryde Hunters Hill in the final.