In 2018, the Australian Men's Masters Hockey Championships are split across two locations - Ballina and Lismore.
Located in the Far North Coast of NSW, these two towns will host a championships that will offer something completely different to that on offer when the championships are in a major city. With a small town feel and local exuberance, everyone will be made to feel welcome.
Having spent the better part of the last ten years administering numerous competitions, I passionately hate the way that the draw is published for the Australian Men's Masters Hockey Championships.
Each year, Sharon Dixon, the head of the NSW Men's Masters Hockey medical team, provides the managers with some solid medical guidelines. I am yet to receive the 2018 version, so thought I'd run with those from 2017, as they are still very relevant.
We are less than five days away from taking the field for our first match at the 2018 Australian Men's Masters Hockey Championships.
After yesterdays result against Queensland, the Waratahs realised that they would have to lift their game to ensure they didn't suffer an early departure from these championships.
Their second match was against the NSW 40/3's, meaning it was state again state, mate against mate. This is never an easy fxiture. Having suffered a calf injury in the first game, Adam "Ads" Hackett was ruled out of this match, while we welcomed Brad Bollard into the team after misssing our firsr match owing to an international work commitment.
We have selected The Shaws Bay Hotel as our clubrooms while we are in Ballina.
At least one other NSW team has organised to use the hotel as their clubrooms, so I would anticipate some good times will be had.
In 2018, the Australian Men's Masters Hockey Championships are split across two venues. In Lismore, the Goonellabah complex boasts two water-based turfs while Ballina has one water-based turf.
The second turf at Goonellabah was only completed a few months ago and the original turf was relaid earlier this season. They should both be nicely worn in by the time the Australian Men's Masters Hockey Championships take to the field in late September.
The Waratahs got a tough introduction to playing at an Australian Championship with a match against the defending champions, Queensland.
The Barras came armed with their A Game, and went 1-0 up after only 5 minutes with a Penalty Corner conversion.
Friday dawned fine and clear, after Thursday had turned cold and wet.
With 24 hours until our first game, the boys turned up at training ready to go. With only two players absent due to work and family commiments, the team were fully decked out in our sponsors warm up shirt.
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