Top four focus motivates Ipswich at state titles

IPSWICH under-18 coaching newcomer Adam Spry will be disappointed if his talent-rich men's hockey side misses out on the top four at the state titles.

Former Super League player and Ipswich under-18 women's mentor Sarah Parlett has similar aims.

Both Ipswich representative teams head off this weekend to contest cut-throat Queensland championships.

Spry is eager to see Ipswich's next crop of senior players fulfil their promise at the Tweed Border tournament starting on Sunday.

Having coached a number of representative teams in the Northern Territory before moving to Ipswich, Spry welcomed his latest opportunity.

"They are pretty keen to learn,'' he said of working with under-18 players.

The Ipswich team that fared well at the past two state championships has lost some key state players including goalkeeper Cade Banditt and Zac Profke.

However, Spry is backing his side led by captain Mitch Moran and vice-captains Ryan Smith and Blake Douglas.

"We've got a pretty reasonable leadership group,'' he said. "The young guys just need to be able to step up and see how we go.

"We've got a pretty good mix there.

"I really want to be in the top four.''

Ipswich's first match is against the home centre on Sunday before two more round games in the traditionally cut-throat competition.

Spry played A grade for Easts last season after a 10-year coaching stint in the Territory. He worked with various teams from under-13 to Australian Hockey League level.

Meanwhile, the Ipswich under-18 girls head to Townsville on Saturday morning for their latest state titles campaign.

Experienced representative player Parlett has been working with Ipswich's under-18 women for a couple of seasons.

With her team seeded fifth, she hopes they too can break into the top four.

A solid hit-out at the recent Southern Cross tournament in Toowoomba boosted the young Ipswich side's hopes.

"We used that more as a selection, trialling some players,'' Parlett said.

"I was quite happy with what I saw at the Southern Cross.

"I think we've only got two or three 18 year olds again this year so we're still quite young.''

The Ipswich girls are in a tough pool featuring Sunshine Coast, Brisbane 1, Cairns and new team Fraser Coast.

"It would be really nice to finish top four,'' Parlett said.

"We do have some really talented players and I think we work really well as a team.''

The state under-18 championships starting this weekend lead into the Queensland open titles from April 30.

Ipswich under-18 men's side contesting the state titles at Tweed Border: Tekoda Andrew-Sharrad, Ben Darby, Caleb Davies (goalkeeper), Aaron Dodds, Kyle Dolan, Blake Douglas, Kyle Jackson, Hayden Michel, Mitchell Moran (captain), Ben Peters, Thomas Picton, Nicholas Schostakowski, Ryan Smith, Jake Thornton, Lachlan Walsh, Daniel Westphal. Coach: Adam Spry. Manager: Mark Thompson.

Ipswich under-18 women's side heading to Townsville for the state titles: Sarina Butta, Hannah Casey (captain), Jessica Chaplin, Zoe Fox, Tayla Gray, Caleisha Harper, Lauren Hess, Storm King, Jade McDougall (goalkeeper), Kelly McNamara, Gabby Nicholls, Brook Pavitt (vice-captain), Emma Reeve, Natalie Walker, Jessica Wilkinson. Coach: Sarah Parlett. Manager: Lauren Casey.