Grand final-winning Easts juniors like Tremaine Pittman have plenty to be excited about.
Grand final-winning Easts juniors like Tremaine Pittman have plenty to be excited about. Cordell Richardson

Promising Ipswich juniors benefit from development focus

HOCKEY: A group of skilful Ipswich players to watch have been chosen in the latest state under-15 squads, trialling for a spot at next year's national titles.

Defender Sophie D'Castro, midfielder Lile Lenaghan and goalkeeper Hayley Petersen were recognised after representing Ipswich at the recent state under-15 titles in Gladstone.

Ipswich head coach Vanessa Kissane was pleased to see the trio rewarded, especially after her entire Ipswich squad made some terrific gains this season.

The Ipswich under-15 girls played in the C-Grade boys series this year as part of their ongoing development.

"I think it's one of the best decisions Ipswich Hockey has made for the girls and for the competition,'' Kissane said.

"It was fantastic.

"It made them stronger on the ball.''

Queensland under-13 and indoor hockey players Lile Lenaghan and Hayley Petersen are  part of Swifts' A-Grade plans for the new hockey season.
Lile Lenaghan and Hayley Petersen.

During this year's Ipswich competition, cousins Petersen and Lenaghan played A-Grade for Swifts.

Wests talent D'Castro also had another strong state championship having represented Ipswich last year. She played in Ipswich's R2 and Reserve Grade competitions.

Ipswich under-15 boys goalkeeper Beau Millburn, midfield/striker Arnell Saric-Pamenter and fullback/halfback Rhys Stenzel were also named in 2020 state squads. They represented the Ipswich team that finished sixth at the recent state titles in Warwick.

Joining Ipswich's under-15 state squad players on the recent selection list were Archie Cameron, Isaac Jordan, Tremaine Pittman, Baxter Powell, Riley Profke, Ben Suthers, Caitlin Canty, Rieanna Noga, Kaja Roberts and Grace Vermeer.

They were named in the 2019/2020 U16 Development Squad.

Ipswich under-15 boys coach Josh Jones was delighted to see so many players chosen in under-15 or under-16 squads preparing for the future.

"We were pretty lucky in that we had almost 80 percent of our team made one of the Queensland squads,'' Jones said.

In his second year of coaching, Jones was part of the Easts' mentoring contingent that oversaw four grand final victories for the club at this year's Ipswich junior grand finals.

Wests and Ipswich junior coach Kissane appreciated extra assistance from Magpies' A-Graders Amy Kickbusch, Jade Close, Eden Jackat and Gabby Nicholls in developing her players.

Players selected in the state under-15 squads are invited to a weekend of trials in February, where teams will be finalised for next year's national championships.