Norths already plotting future glory
HAVING won four A-Grade premierships with Norths, Sarah Parlett knows what it takes to build a successful side.
So she was far from disappointed when Norths bowed out of the latest Ipswich A-Grade women's premiership race.
Although the Devils lost 1-0 to Swifts on Saturday night, Parlett saw plenty of encouraging signs, especially with such a young group to work with.
"It's a much more positive vibe this year, especially bringing those young ones through,'' Parlett said. "And we've gained a couple from other clubs that have been quite handy.''
Parlett said seeing the improvement this season was most pleasing as Norths continue their rebuilding phase.
"We have had some experience this year so it should be really good (in the future),'' she said.
Among the Norths players to watch are goalkeeper Jade McDougall, Sophie Fynes-Clinton, Maddy Denny and Natalie Walker.
They have come on this season working with more experienced Norths regulars like Parlett, Kirsten Ihle, Anita Davey, Jess Fox, Crystal Brown and Leonie Young.
The skipper praised coach Jamie Burns for building on the work he started taking over the coaching role last season.
"He's really good bringing all the girls together and we've trained Reserve Grade and A Grade as one group this year so I think that's really helped as well,'' Parlett said.
Parlett, a former winner of Ipswich Hockey's premier female award, has again been nominated for this year's Amy Korner Sports Excellence honour.
The latest winners in a range of categories will be named at Friday night's Gala Dinner at Brothers Leagues Club.
Parlett has long been an advocate of nurturing talent and likes what she sees at Norths after a solid season progressing the club's talent pool.
"I loved this year. It was a great group of girls,'' she said, having played A-Grade for 15 seasons.
"It was a lot of fun this year.
"It's trying to keep the same group of girls together that we had this year and bring those other few in. Keep building on that.''
Swifts will play defending premiers Wests in this weekend's preliminary final.
The only goal in Saturday night's final was scored by dual registered Ashley Spry, who also plays Div 1 and 2 in Brisbane.
Spry, 17, joined the Bluebirds this season after her former A-Grade team Bellbowrie withdrew from the Ipswich competition.
"It's been really good,'' she said. "The girls have got on really well.''
In a tightly contested final, Spry's timely goal was a deflection from a powerful penalty corner strike by Swifts captain Bridget McLean.
McLean also displayed her usual defensive prowess during the game, providing good momentum for players like Susie Marcussen, Jess Dodd and McKenna Evans-Doherty in the midfield.
Nominees for this year's major Ipswich Hockey awards, being named at Friday night's annual Gala Dinner at Brothers Leagues Club.
Barry Dancer Excellence: Dean Jeffrey, Zac Profke, Ryan Smith.
Amy Korner Excellence: Layla Eleison, Sarah Parlett, Sara Rogers.
Masters Excellence (a new award): Kyle Harnden, Paul Malcolm, Terry Wode.
Paul Mantell Volunteer of the Year: Karen Dolan, Paul Malcolm, Kerri Orr, Heather Scott.