Tweed?s first shot at elite
By TANIA PHILLIPS
TWEED-BORDER gets its first chance to show it is truly one of the elite teams in women's representative hockey in Queensland when it opens its Southern Cross Hockey Cup campaign next week.
After several years around the top of the Queensland second division state hockey competition, Tweed-Border won the title last year and is due to take its spot in the Queensland Premier League in May. The premier league features the top eight teams from throughout the state.
Tweed-Border president Richard Philip said Border's promotion to the top grade would see the forthcoming Southern Cross series take on even more importance.
"There are four other Premier League teams in this South-east Queensland pre-season competition," Philip said.
"Brisbane, Toowoomba, Gold Coast and Ipswich are all premier league teams.
"Playing those teams will be a good chance to judge just how we are going before we go to state.
"We will know if we are on a par or if we need to step up.
"Before we just used to use the event to bring out young players through before state."
Philip said the Tweed squad had been training for a few weeks now and would eventually be pared down from the more than 20 currently training, to the squad of 16 needed for the Southern Cross tournament.
"They did some physical training before Christmas ? some running and activities like that," he said.
"The girls had three sessions of ball training last week and will be doing two sessions a week for the next two weeks with coach Sharon Buchanan."
All of last year's players have been contacted, with several young prospects also invited to go along and train.
Philip said the Southern Cross competition, usually held over six weeks, had now been condensed to just three weeks. The campaign starts with two games (of 25 minutes each half) on the Sunshine Coast on February 10, with two more games on February 11 in Brisbane. Games will be held in Murwillumbah on February 17 and on the Gold Coast on February 18.
The Southern Cross competition involves two teams from Brisbane and one each from the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Too-woomba, Gold Coast and Tweed.