Norths fine-tuning for shot at Ipswich title
HOCKEY: Having recently watched his team upstage the defending premiers, Norths A-Grade coach Steve Profke is happy to be back in the annual intercity competition.
"The Combined Competition is good to fine-tune things,'' Profke said after his team's latest 3-2 win over Toowoomba Norths.
"We get complacent playing the same three teams every week and the combined comp is a better gauge on what is really happening.''
The Ipswich club side's victory in Toowoomba came after pleasing 5-2 win over Hancock Brothers in the previous game.
"The Hancocks win was important for us,'' Profke said. "It was the first time we've played them with only one player missing so the win was excellent.
"So far, that game against Hancocks was one of our best.
"Everyone did what we set out to do in our game plan and stuck it out until the end.''
However, the former premiership-winning player is keeping a close eye on his rivals now the first round of the Ipswich competition is complete.
"Hancocks and Wests are looking strong,'' Profke said.
"They both have that play until the last second attitude and you can't write them off no matter the score.''
Profke rated his team's latest game "average''.
"We didn't play as well as we have been but scraped the win,'' he said.
Profke is continuing to develop Norths' talent.
"As with the last few years we've had a lot of young guys play again with R2 players and C-graders so it's been great to mix them in with the experienced players,'' the Norths coach said.
"We've had good numbers.
"Now the Queensland stuff is mostly out of the way, we'll be set most weeks.''
Among players leading the way for Norths recently have been stalwart Dean Jeffrey, Luke Randle and Luke Brown.
"We still have a lot of work to do,'' Profke said. "Anything can happen but it's been our best start for a while.''
Profke was monitoring regular A-Grade player Will Dalais (hamstring issue).
However, the coach's son Zac is recovering from a recent knock to his ankle.
Zac and Randle have been named in the Australian Futures squad after recent under- 21 successes.
In the other A-Grade men's games, Wests beat Newtown 3-2 and Easts scored a handy 5-1 win over Past High.
The unbeaten Wests women outclassed Toowoomba Newtown 4-0, with captain Eden Jackat adding two more goals to her season tally.
Swifts drew 1-1 with Toowoomba Past High and Norths Ipswich held out Norths Toowoomba 2-1.