Tweed out to net title

QUEENSLAND'S best under 18 boys hockey players will converge on the Barrie Smith Fields in Murwillumbah from today to contest the annual state championships in what is another feather in the cap for the local association.

The Tweed has hosted several top level hockey fixtures this year and the Queensland under 18 championships are further confirmation that the district has some of the best hockey faculties in Australia.

The championships get underway this morning in both division one and two with the Tweed boys playing in division two.

After their success in winning the Coulter Shield earlier in the year, Tweed is favoured to claim the division two title and gain promotion to division one next year.

According to Tweed Border Hockey Association coaching director Matt Bartell, the Tweed side has shown itself to be both skilful in attack and strong defence.

“There's a mix of experience, particularly through state rep players like Jake Farrell, Dylan Wotherspoon, Andrew Butturini (younger brother of Matt), James Walker and Bradley Frappell,” Bartell said.

“Perhaps the most significant thing with the side is that coach Phil Reid has them working well as a unit and playing for each other.

“I think that was the key to the boys winning the Coulter Shield.”

Reid will be looking to steer Tweed back into division one, but will have some tough opposition with teams from Brisbane, Ipswich, Maryborough, Gympie and Gladstone also aiming to step up.

“The team from Maryborough may be the one to watch out for as we don't know too much about them but every time I have been up that way, they have always had strong, competitive teams,” Bartell said.

The draw on the Hockey Queensland website, has Tweed starting their campaign at 11.15am against Gladstone before returning this afternoon to play Gympie.

The tournament continues in a round robin format for both divisions over the weekend with the finals to be played on Monday.

Bartell encouraged all hockey supporters to go along to the Barrie Smith Field to cheer on the 'locals' as they look to make the step up to the top division.

For information on the championships, contact Tweed Border Hockey Association on (02) 6672 3434.

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