In 2015 we had 4 Youth teams and, 11 Primary teams, 15 teams (and about 160 players). We could not field teams into the Youth A Girls and Boys, but we fielded two into the Youth B competition as the strength of our younger players need time to mature. Our younger teams had good intakes and there is always a demand pre-season from new players.
We did not have many players going through to Representive hockey this season, but we have had some good success in the Saturday grades in terms of winning teams. We also entered all 3 of the Premier grades on offer, in Kwik, Kiwi and Mini grades, with all three teams performing well against the stronger Clubs.
All our coaches and administrators give their time, free of charge, and add it on to the end of a normal working day. This season I needed to recruit new uniform people, and there were three willing ladies: Sarah, Celine and Rachel. They took a load of work off me, and I am grateful for their efforts.Andy Johnson carried on with his role in co-ordinating the supply of gear bags and the results role, and is now an experienced helper.
The senior Club continue to support us with Neil Middleton, our Treasurer, providing the funds approvals, and Marcus, our President keeping in touch to ensure that I am not left in limbo.
This season two youth players , Fenella and Savanna took on coaching roles with our young teams, which was great to see. They were presented with the ‘Stu Ramage’ cup for commitment to the Club. We also had Nikki Maraki taking on the lead role with the in-experienced Yr 1 & 2 FUN sticks, often with baby in pram, and 3 year old at foot! A huge commitment, as she dashed off to her own Senior Club practice straight after the Gym session finished. Also joining Nikki in helping with the Jets, in Term 3, was Stephane and Zak. Stepping up from a playing role with our Premier teams, JiJi took charge of the Jaguars, who shot to fame, starring on National TV in a What Now episode. Viv, Robyn, Dave, myself, Rob, Mark, Steve, Phil and Willem continue to add to their many years of service. Our Youth coaches are also a most valued resource, with Viv and Bradley, Colleen and new coach Mark Hayward helping to encourage our players to continue their Club hockey through to senior level.
I also want to mention our volunteer umpires, without whom a game would not be possible. Sometimes these parents miss out on being able to stand on the sideline, like most parents, and just enjoy the game. Also the AHUA ‘JUMP’ programme for training young umpires has helped in officiating at Saturday morning matches, meaning the coaches can just focus on our teams.
Once again, we used the EGGS gyms for our year 1&2, Year 3&4. They are only just adequate, but are close to home for most of our players and coaches, and are indoors. We also used 2 hours at the Mt Roskill Turf on Mondays and Tuesday.
Apparently the proposed plans to upgrade the MRGS turf with a water turf, (and a new pavilion?) have been approved. The drawback will be that the turf will be more expensive to hire for practice (higher fees), and will become more popular with other Clubs to use (eg. The under-dog Club’s get pushed out.. not if we can help it!)
The beginners FUN sticks this year had a slightly different format, with NZ hockey trying to attract more grass roots players. They turned up at AGS every Saturday for an organised session of fun activities, supervised by a trained coach. Then back in the gym each week, they followed up with more skills. The motive was to encourage more parents to assist, following the well documented system (I am not sure if that happened), and games at this beginner level are not that beneficial anyway. A slight drawback was 2 very large and heavy bags of gear for the poor coach to cart around each week. In the end we had to put most of the stuff in the storage locker. It did allow casual new players to come and try on Saturday mornings.
It is worth a special mention of our Kwik Vampires team, with 12 of those players finishing their Primary hockey this season. The Vampires have accumulated 73 years of hockey experience between them with Brandon, Joel and Nathan having played for Mt Eden for 8 years. Viv has nurtured some of these boys through some successful campaigns, and we expect to see them bringing future success for our Senior teams.
2015 concluded with the Primary prizegiving night, held at the Potter’s Park function room on 22nd September. There was a full turnout, and the ice-creams and drinks were a good reward.
The Youth teams combined with the senior Club on the previous Friday for Prizegiving. Thanks to Briar and the Senior Club for hosting a very good night which was well attended by the 4 teams and their parents.
In last year’s Annual Report, I indicated that this was to be my final and 25th year as Administrator of the Junior Club. I am encouraged and grateful, that without any prompting, Justine Waters (mother of Year 3 & 4 boys), has offered to take on the role. Having been at the creation of Mt Eden Junior Hockey, I only want it to thrive and to continue to promote grass-roots hockey players, and along the way, a few Black Sticks. I started playing with Mt Eden Hockey when I was 21, and took on the secretarial role in my second year. So this is the end of approximately 35 years of assisting and volunteering. I don’t regret any of the years, and am grateful for the friends made along the way, and to get to know and work with some great parents/coaches. I still intend to play hockey for at least another couple of years (I have targeted a couple of NZ and Masters tournaments), and so I expect to still volunteer as a coach.
I expect all the parent body to assist and help Justine in any way that is needed. For too long Clubs like ours have existed with minimal help, and a decreasing number of volunteers. We all have busy lives, some of us go the extra mile, and our Junior players are better for it. Our sport is in good heart and I will keenly be following the progress of the many players I have coached along the way.
Hatch Cup Nathan Sands
Hatch Cup Development James Thompson
Hatch Reserves Josh de Silva
Youth Boys B Black Most Valuable Player Adam Curtis
Most Improved Player Cameron Stephens
Youth Boys B Purple Most Valuable Player Ryan Blackmore
Most Improved Player Anstan Saldanha
Youth Girls B Black Most Valuable Player Ella McEwen
Most Improved Player Lourdes Alvarez-Llano
Youth Girls B Purple Most Valuable Player Maddy Poland
Most Improved Player Maia Baillie
11th Vampires Player of the Year Brandon Peck
Most Valuable Player James Thomson
11th Demons Best Forward Dilan Patel
Best Defender Harrison Lucas
Kiwi 7 - Panthers Most Valuable Player Leon Walter
Most Improved Player Rory Merrie
Kiwi 7 - Wolves Player of the Year Luka Johnson
Best Defender Jadeyn Morris
Kiwi 7 – Jaguars Most Valuable Player Isaac Metcalfe
Most Improved Player Olivia Hetherington
Mini 6 Stingrays Most Valuable Player Neal Govind
Most Improved Player Sam Gould
Mini 6 Piranhas Most Valuable Player Tessa Bradley
Most Improved Player Olivia Judd
Mini 6 Marlins Most Valuable Player Ryan Gabriel
Sportsmanship Award Ella Irvine
Mini 6 Alligators Most Valuable Player Hannah Grigg
Best and Fairest Sophie Van Laarhoven
Fun Sticks Purple Most Valuable Player Oliver Gipps
Most Improved Player Nina Worrall
Fun Sticks Beginners Best Effort Georgia Figgins
Most Improved Player Manon Gilbert