2017 Men’s Teams Reports

1st Grade

First and foremost, I would like to thank all the players and supporters for their support of the team and the club throughout the year.

First grade had another solid season in 2017 with significant promise but culminating in a disappointing exit in the finals. We started the 2017 campaign well with a trip to Brisbane for fine tuning and team bonding. It is fair to say we came away with great results. Preparation was the key, because we knew that the season would have a number of challenges. There would be seven weeks, at a minimum, where the team would be without key players though representative duties. Given this challenge, it was time for the young panthers to come of age and stand up to take the challenge; credit also to the more experienced hands who absorbed this additional responsibility and demonstrated great club loyalty in the process. Through this period, we were required to demonstrate that we had the required depth to still be a force in all grades with key players unavailable in first grade.

Congratulations to Nic McEwen for winning the team’s best and fairest and to Tim Brand for winning the Colin Manning award for the club’s highest goal scorer. Some acknowledgement is required of those payers who achieved prestigious representative honours throughout 2017: Kieron Arthur, Tim Brand, Tom Brown, Ben Craig, Tom Craig, Hayden Dillon, Sam Grey, Sam Liles, Nic McEwen, and Lachie Sharp.   Well done gentlemen, great results after all the hard work. Our best wishes also to Sam Liles on his overseas stint in Belgium and beyond.

I would like to thank Richard Sharp once again his guidance and his passion for the players the team and club. You are truly the driving force behind the team. Thank you Reg! David Moore – what can I say – your devotion to and support of the team and players is the secret weapon we have and other clubs and teams don’t. Your analysis of match day videos for the players and coach are a valuable part of the team’s success. Billy Shaw, your unavailability next year due to moving to Queensland will be a hard to replace. All the best in your new adventuress (Dave Moore is considering a comeback next year so we could have a replacement already!).

In closing I would like to thank all the players that took part in first grade this year. It is due to your support that we are one of the leading club teams in Australia. As has been the case in last two years, Ryde established itself as one of the top teams in the competition with consistently high performances against traditional contenders for the premiership. There was some scintillating hockey, with the team’s ball movement and goal scoring to the fore. Taking the next step is our challenge and I call on you to support this objective. It is both challenging and exciting and a great thing to rally around.

Looking forward to seeing you all next year.

Yours in hockey

David Goosakoff

1st Grade Manager

2nd Grade

To say as much as things change they stay the same is correct in 2017 for second grade. Another year where the team performed admirably during the 22 rounds of the competition to finish in second position only to lose the major semi-final and then the final to bow out in the same fashion as 2016.

The season started in fine style with big wins against Easts and Gordon showing that the work the team had put in during pre-season was going to set them up for a successful year. As the year unfolded the team was able to win sixteen, lose four and draw two games to finish just behind UNSW in second spot. Beating the eventual premiers UNSW twice during the season showed the talent, skill and commitment that this team possessed.

The team was able to unearth some fine young talent throughout the year and we look forward to these young athletes pushing hard for first grade in 2018. Throughout the season we relied on many players from third grade and their work ethic and commitment was an asset to the team. Whenever an athlete from first grade was asked to help out it was obvious why they were in first grade! Many thanks to all players who took the field this year.

A huge thankyou to Gary Goosakoff for his managerial expertise again this season. The help and encouragement from Club Management is always appreciated. The support that the leadership group provided to me and to the team in general was phenomenal. Personally, I would like to thank Sharpy, Larry and TC for helping with training, tactics and being available to bounce ideas off throughout the year.

Let’s hope that in 2018 second grade continues to develop and evolve striving to be the best athletes and group of men in the competition.


2nd Grade Coach

3rd Grade

3rd grade this year was again coached by Dean Merchant. It was a mixed season for 3rd. The first half of the year was largely unsuccessful but the team was able to turn their season around. Ultimately the team finished fourth bowing out 3-4 in the preliminary final, in extra time.

As noted the first half of the season was characterised by inconsistency in performance and a failure to string wins together. Near the halfway point the tea has recorded two draws and three wins to be placed last on the table. In the second half of the season the team was able to realise their potential and demonstrate greater consistency and cohesion. Subsequently they rose up the table to be placed 4th. With this turn around came 8 wins and including the final series the team recorded an eight game winning streak.

The squad had to support 2nd grade which had a lot of injuries this year. At times we struggled but were able to band together and really gelled when it was necessary. With the loss of our captain Al Retford to 2nd grade for almost the whole season, Micheal English took on the role. This saw him step up to the challenge and lead the team in the right direction. This did not go unnoticed by the team which is why he deservedly won best and fairest this year.

I have been coaching 3rd grade now for three season. Each year this team is getting one step closer to winning the premiership. I believe with fresh ideas and the right enthusiasm and commitment the team can finally get the premiership they deserve. 

Dean Merchant

3rd Grade Coach

4th Grade

2017 was another fantastic season for Ryde Men’s 4th Grade

It’s the 3rd year in a row the team has made the Grand Final! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to win, but it’s a great result nonetheless.

The team only lost three games all season, including the GF. We competed hard in every game, but seven draws perhaps is a good indication, of a new team trying to find its groove. Also evident was a little bit of inconsistency.

There were some tough games throughout the season, but the team showed great resilience, coming from behind on a few occasions, to grab a draw or the win. Even losing players through injury, unavailability or promotion, the team was still able to perform at a good level and compete every week.

It was a very rewarding year for everyone involved, with a great mix of youth and experience a major contributor to that. There were lots of talented juniors in the side, together with more experienced players, which really injected some enthusiasm into the group! All players should be proud of their achievements this year, despite us not being able to get over the line in the Grand Final.

Thanks also to all those players who contributed from other teams. Your help throughout the season was very much appreciated.

4s has always been a development team. Seasoned players, helping to usher our young up and coming stars, into premier league. This year was no different. I sincerely hope we continue with this in all premier league teams into the future.

Special thanks to Owen Crotty, who helped manage the team with myself this year, and coaching in my absence.


Greg Findley

4th Grade Captain

5th Grade

At the beginning of the 2017 season it was decreed that this season was to be the “year of redemption” for our 5th Grade team having cruelly lost the 2016 grand final in the “one on one” playoff as 80 minutes of hockey failed to gain a decisive result. Playing again in the Sydney League 1 competition after 16 round games we finished as minor premiers with 11 wins, 3 losses and 2 draws in what was a hard fought competition. With a tally of 55 goals we led the goal scoring and with only 20 goals against, we also had the best defensive record finishing some 15 goals ahead of the next nearest team on goal difference. Not only was this a great team effort but also a reflection of the health of our club as we consistently fielded vastly different teams week on week. Thanks to all the players who supported the higher grades when needed and those that either came up the grades or backed up to ensure we could get a team on the field every week. 

The highlight of the season was no doubt our 2nd Round top of the table clash with UTS which ultimately secured us the minor premiership. On a cold Saturday night out at Moorebank, we could only field 11 players with 4 already backing up from games earlier in the day. Trailing 1 – 0 at half time we knew we were in trouble against a team that was fielding savvy experience blended with a few junior Pakistan internationals with skills and speed. After a much needed rest the start of the 2nd half saw us draw level courtesy of a rare Steve Besanvalle goal, who almost fainted with excitement. As the battle intensified the effect of earlier games saw us suffer two calf injuries and cramping among several players – at one time being down to nine on the field. We defended countless attack and finally managed to break away with Jimmy Lear (calf injury) hobbling up field to find an equally immobile Brett Tapson camped on the top of the circle. Tappy calmly trapped, turned and slotted the ball past the keeper to see us take an ultimate a 2-1 winning lead.

Unfortunately, the stuff dreams are made of and redemption were shattered as we entered the finals series. With seconds to go UTS scored to gain first entry to the grand final.  To be fair we should have won the game, unfortunately missing a penalty stroke. The following week we faced Briars in what no doubt was the toughest and highest quality game of hockey we played all year. Each time Briars took the lead we fought back to draw level until at the end of regular time we were locked at 3-3. Down to 9 v 9 in extra time we dominated the first five minutes and even a draw would see us through the grand final. 2017 however was not ultimately be the year of redemption as a penalty corner conversion by Briars ended our season prematurely. 

Congratulations to the 5th Grade team for what was a very successful and enjoyable season with great camaraderie and banter. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get the result we set out to achieve but the journey along the way was exceptional. Finally, congratulations to our goal keeper Steven Ford who deservingly took out our 5th Grade Best and Fairest. 

Mark Grieves

5th grade captain

6th Grade

Where to start … well the team obviously, this year’s team was a mixture of older more experienced old farts, tainted with the sprinkling of youthful exuberance and inexperience that came together hoping to replicate the success from 2016 … And we did.

Our statistics for the season:

We played 21 games. Of that we won 15, lost 3, and drew 3 including a total of 75 GF, 32 GA. This was the best for & against record for the SL2 grade which saw us winning the minor premiership and continuing the good form to win the major prize, the Sydney Hockey Association (SL2) Premiership for 2017.

I would like to individually acknowledge the team for the 2017 season, starting with Tim Metcalf, Scott Familton, Andrew Ramsey, Stuart Farquharson, Stephen Burns, John Cullen, Craig Rathbone, Jarrad Taylor, Rob Whelan, Amauri Amat, Mark Eggers, Kerry Marthick, Matt Edwards (on loan from 5th grade), Alex Kennedy, Luca Burman, Ben Beattie and Scott Morrison.

We had solid numbers turn up every week for training. It was intense and purposeful we accomplished good team harmony and fun while learning something new at the sessions and this was reflected in our results on the weekend. However, I feel our attacking short corners could be improved.

The team bonded well as the season progressed. We battled hard against the bigger and more physical sides and as usual they would target the younger guys on the team trying to intimidate them. Much to their credit the younger guys took on the challenge and stepped up. I was suitably impressed with their attitude and their willingness to get in there a have a go.

There was always the ever-vigilant mentors supporting their younger team mates, It was comforting to see whenever the younger boys were troubled there were always two or more experienced team mates around to guide and help out.

In closing I would like to send a huge shout out to Scott “Kiwi’ Familton and Amauri “Muz” Amat who assisted with all the behind the scenes organising of the team. It made my job a lot easier on game day. It was a pleasure to be part of this wonderful team, I would like to wish all the younger athletes great success for their future with Ryde and leave you with a quote by a famous baseball player named Babe Ruth,” it’s hard to beat someone who never gives up”.   

Enjoy the off season for the ones who need to rest, namely yours truly. I look forward to seeing you all around a hockey pitch soon.



6th grade captain

7th Grade

I am told that Hockey is a team game and in 2017 the 18, yes 18 players who formed the Ryde 7th Grade for most of the season were that.  The rules said that only 16 can be listed on the match card which worked out well during the season as 2 somebodies were away every week until the finals, when …………… everybody was available.

The season started with the usual collection of returnees (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, & 16) and new chums (4, 8, 15) and couple of players pressed ganged in roles (2, 5) and you have …………GRAND FINALISTS.

It finished up being a very good season and an almost great one – if only that ball curved a little more past the keeper in the last minute!  Funny things can happen in extra time!

Special mention for player 16 – he agreed to miss the Grand Final to help with the team balance.

Sydney Hockey’s grading of teams made the SL3 competition an interesting one with a couple of clubs fielding their 1st and 3rd grade teams a few 4th and 5th and Ryde’s trusty 7s.

Early games showed that there was a wide range in opposition team ability and we needed extra fire power up front, extra intelligence in the middle, speed up front and plenty of hard work in the mid -field which all arrived thanks to a happy combination too many players in the higher grades (3, 9, 14) and a new player to the club (17)!

Our 18th player (18) arrived half way through the season and had to play all remaining games to qualify for the semis – which he just did!

So, who were those travellers in hockey, who after five rounds were coming 6th, after 10 rounds 3rd and 15 rounds still 3rd and after a dramatic last round finished the season in 2nd place thanks to a better goal difference.

Player 17 proved to be our highest goal scorer with 11, edging our old hands 5 and 6, and player 17 also proved to be our Best and Fairest for the season, and to be fair he won’t be in 7ths next year, but every team needs help in getting to the Grand Final!!

So, who were these players, well, read on:

Player 1            Mark Studd                                Player 2            Ken Campbell

Player 3            Glen Castensen                        Player 4            Gursewak Singh

Player 5            Steve Dunn                                Player 6            Rob Egger

Player 7            Manjit Gill                                    Player 8            Luke Fletcher

Player 9            Alex Perry                                   Player 10          Blaze Pham

Player 11          Joel Scott                                   Player 12          Teaj Sian

Player 13          Gurvinder Singh                        Player 14          Ben Warton

Player 15          Martin Hemphill                         Player 16          Tim Campbell

Player 17          Kawar Singh                               Player 18          Harry Phull

Thanks to everybody else who helped out along the way, subbing, umpiring, scoring the odd goal. See you all back in 2018 for another red hot go!

Ken Campbell

7th grade captain

8th Grade

2017 promised to be a good year with a new team coming together for the first time that comprised a mix of experience and youth.  The commitment shown by this team in attending training sessions regularly each Thursday was transferred to the weekend roster matches where they became a very cohesive and supportive group.

There were many memorable moments throughout the year where the team excelled and showed what it was capable of.  Three games stand out all in the second round –

After hitting a flat spot against St George and scrambling to an ordinary win, the services of Larry McIntosh were sought and he provided the team with an insightful and instructive whiteboard session instead of turf time.  The inspiration taken away from that session carried over to the 5PM game against UTS at Moorebank in a 3 v 4 showdown.  The new-found confidence and self-belief did not waiver for the full 70 minutes and we came away with superbly executed 5 – 1 victory.

The acid test was to be the next game when we confronted Briars at Cintra.  The grit and determination of this team was fully tested.  Recovering from an early goal against we fought back to win 2 -1 against the second placed team.

The third one was the Minor Semi Final where we despatched UTS comfortably again with some solid team play.  Notably this was about the time when the flu bug struck and many players had to soldier on regardless. 

This team performed consistently throughout the season winning the majority of roster games.   Wins in most cases were hard fought but the versatility and keenness of all players made the coaches job easy. We started the season with a squad of 16 squad players and for most weeks had either a full team, 16 players, or close to it.   Having a team showing this sort of spirit is always going to do well.

It is difficult to make any special mentions when the team is comprised of so many good players. Nevertheless, I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Dean Merchant and Mark Richard in assisting with getting the playing structure right.  On the field they also provided inspiration and encouragement by leading through example.  Well done and thank you.

It is not often that you have the luxury of four willing and capable inside forwards who worked tireless all year to provide the cohesion between defence and attack. Well done Tim Atkinson, Kevin Li, Sam Baxter and Jarryd Drinkwater.

Strikers Jason Beeton, Thomas Bretell and Deano all contributed well to the score line and each brought variety to the attacked. 

 The midfield and defence in general were acquitted themselves very well and were ably lead by Mark Richards.  Maintaining structure and learning how to press competently was the big area of improvement for 2017.   Good job Duncan Taylor, Tucker Armstrong, Chris Richard, Stu Russell and Mark Sookias

Unfortunately, our winning run came to an end in the Preliminary Final where it was a repeat of last year where we came up against a strong Briars side who were rebounding from a semi-final loss to Macquarie University losing 3-0 on that occasion.

The best and fairest this year saw a worthy result with Mark Richard taking the honours followed by Duncan Taylor and Kevin Li.

The optimism that was taken away from this season by this group of players surely will see more success come their way if the intention to play together again in 2018 is realised

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this great result. 

Robert Thompson

8th Grade Coach / Manager

9th and 10th Grade

2017 proved to be an interesting year as we consistently utilised players from other grades to make up the side due to players representing their country (Dasher and Sniper) as well as illness and injury.  Consequently, it proved difficult to develop team structure as the team from week to week varied significantly.

With this in mind the team performed consistently well throughout the regular season winning twelve matches and drawing three. 

Our only loss for the year was in the grand final which was against Sydney University.  The match was very tight and went down to 1 v1. Our GK, Jacob, did a fantastic job keeping us in the match but unfortunately experience beat him in the end.  The final score for the match after two periods ox extra time was 1 all.

During the finals we utilised members from 10th grade due to players being unavailable because of injuries and work.  I wish to thank those players for also making themselves available throughout the season as in one match, without them, we would have had to forfeit.   

A huge thank you needs to go to Steve Riley who managed the team whilst I was overseas with the Australian Side.  The best and fairest this year saw a worthy result with Steve Reilly taking out the honour.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this great result.


Craig Williams

9th Grade Captain


The 2017 season was always going to be a season of rebuilding as we mostly had a new team with a mixture of new players, who were inexperienced at that point, or had only played one season. We unfortunately didn’t have a centre half and as a result we tended to struggle with ball movement and develop a good playing structure.

As the year progressed, the team started to gel and build our confidence as we ended the season with some great wins by winning our last 4 games and missing out on the finals by only 5 points. Our early season form cost us in the end, though they came too late and we didn’t make the finals. Based on our late season performances we would have definitely had a great chance of winning the premiership. 

This improvement in our performance occurred with the improvements in the general skill levels (notable improvements were Roger and Scott) and the welcoming of Ryleigh. Further improvements occurred when Gav introduced a defensive press, which enabled us to stifle our opposition’s 16 and free hit options.  I think that if we focus on improving this next season it will be beneficial. Grade games are won through applying defensive pressure and converting short corners and other scoring opportunities.

We had the opportunity to develop a new keeper, Jacob Brown. This was Jacob’s first season in goals as he is normally plays in the midfield in juniors. There was a definite improvement in his skills and his confidence grew in every game making some amazing saves. Jacob has a bright future in goals and he should focus on this in the future. He had the opportunity to keep in the 9th grade Grand Final and his performance was really impressive. Even though the team lost he will learn a lot from this experience. A shout out to the other lower grade keepers (Andy, Tiny and Studdy) on assisting Jacob, he definitely became part of the keeping cartel.  On behalf of Ryde 10th grade I’d like to congratulate Jacob on winning the 2017 Best & Fairest award; it was well deserved.

There were some memorable moments in the season including when Gav decided to take Jacob off the field when we needed to win a game against Wests. Unfortunately, this substitution was made at the wrong time. Another highlight was when the team beat Macquarie University 4-1, winning our last 4 games, and also the way the new guys developed. There was some lowlights and lessons learnt from them.

I think the introduction of some aspects of the junior training program and a focus on the basics would benefit the new players.  

I would like to thank the team for the amazing effort all season and would love to see everyone back next year. Also I would like to thanks Gav Hughes for his help managing and coaching the squad.


Neyif Hanna

10th Grade Captain