MENTAL STRENGTH: Norths A grade hockey player Will Dalais knows his team's close-knit approach will give them every chance of winning tomorrow's grand final.
MENTAL STRENGTH: Norths A grade hockey player Will Dalais knows his team's close-knit approach will give them every chance of winning tomorrow's grand final. Kate Czerny

Twins thrive with Norths club

IT'S often been said that twins possess a link that makes them valuable assets.

Brothers Will and Jeremy Dalais are a perfect example.

However, it's not only with each other than the 23-year-olds have built a terrific understanding.

Will and Jeremy have become a vital part of the Norths' A-grade hockey side preparing for tomorrow night's Ipswich grand final against Hancock Brothers.

"Me and Jeremy talk a lot off the field and communicate really well,'' Will said.

"We like to talk about what we want to achieve and what we want to do.

"It usually works out quite well.

"Growing up playing so much hockey together definitely makes it a lot easier on the field.

"We don't have to talk much on the field. We know what we want to do.

"We make a bit of eye contact and we know where to go from there.''

With Will at centre half and Jeremy at left half, the Norths team benefits from their special bond.

The brothers also share a house with Norths teammates Tom Douglas and Andrew Pratt, further strengthening their strong club ties.

Will and Jeremy first played for Bellbowrie as 13-year-olds in the Ipswich competition after moving to Australia from South Africa.

The former Ipswich Grammar School students worked their way up the ranks before joining Norths four years ago.

After finding their feet in their first season with the Devils, they have shared in Norths' recent grand final successes.

"Coming into the team, everyone was really accepting,'' Jeremy said.

"They took us all on board, taught us different things.

"I remember the first year was a bit of a struggle but once we got our links up there and we bonded a fair bit, it all started clicking.''

Jeremy said captain Mark Pocock had been particularly helpful in their transition from Bellbowrie to Norths.

"We're been loving it,'' Jeremy said.

"Poey made it a lot easier to come into the team.

"It's allowed us to become really close together, the whole team.''

Tomorrow night will be the twins' fourth grand final in a row.

A-Grade men's hockey Norths v Hancocks. Jeremy Dalais (Norths). Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times
CLOSE BOND: Norths player Jeremy Dalais. Inga Williams

 

"For me, this team really defines our mental strength,'' Will said.

"Every season we are always suffering from missing players and that sort of thing but come finals time, we like to click on and really focus.

"We're very relaxed in our approach to finals and pressure situations.''

Will said the team didn't like to change anything for finals.

"Come game time, we like to switch on and go from there,'' he said.

Jeremy agreed.

"We've been together so long now that we're confident, come finals, that we are a tightknit group and play well together whenever,'' he said.

Will said beating minor premiers Hancock Brothers in extra-time to reach the grand final reinforced what Norths were capable of.

"It was really great to meet them in the final with two full strength sides because in the past when we beat them they were either down a couple of Brissie players or when they beat us, we'd be down a couple of players,'' Will said.

"It was a cracker game. They're a very young side and it was such a good match-up.''

Jeremy offered similar thoughts.

"Hancocks have been a really good team all year and have probably been the dominant team this year,'' he said. "We've all been pretty confident as we've been together for a fair while now.''

Away from hockey, the twins have progressed along similar paths.

Will is studying engineering with Jeremy about to graduate with his accountancy degree.

But for tomorrow night at least, their sole focus will be on sharing in another Norths grand final victory. It's an unbreakable link.

Pocock a huge fan of twins

NORTHS A-grade captain Mark Pocock is a huge fan of the Dalais twins. And that's not just because they are fine young men with a passion for hockey.

"Will is such a strong player and they are both just such team guys,'' Pocock said.

"Jeremy is the only player of the team who has played every game this year.

"I think he's the forgotten player of the team because he plays left half and he does such a good job.

"He's just fantastic.''

Pocock said the positive attitude of the Dalais twins was also appreciated, especially when Norths had some struggles and losses with players away.

"I think that's how we came through that period where we did lose a few games in a row,'' Pocock said.

"No-one turned on each other. Everyone just became better as a unit and we came out the other side strong.''