Firstly, thank you to the Mangers for all Grades:
A Grade: Mark Ellis
B Grade: Scott Familton
C Grade: Mark Richard
D Grade: Stephen Graham
This was a rollercoaster year finishing 4th in the regular season and unfortunately losing the semi-final in a penalty shootout after scores were level at full time.
It’s a credit to the team the effort displayed all year after some early setbacks and injuries. When able to field a full-strength team, we were capable of beating anyone.
There was a lot of new blood in the team this season which will hold us in good stead for the 2018 season and beyond. Congratulations to all in the team and many thanks to Mark Ellis, who kept things on track.
Grand Finalists, unfortunately, succumbing the Macarthur’s A grade side. Arguably one of the toughest years we’ve had in recent times however we pulled together as a team to post wins against some formidable opposition.
The finals series was probably a culmination of sheer willpower and determination to overcome the likes of GNS (A grade) and Sydney Uni, a team populated with a quality number of experienced players. Where there’s a will there’s a way……we enjoyed consistent attendance, a credit to all players. A huge shout out to Scott Familton for his organisational skills to get us all on the pitch each week, he has been an integral part of our success on and off the field.
A strong season finishing second to UTS and then beating them 2-1 in the major semi-final then going on to finish take out the Premiership 3-0 over UTS.
The season’s success can be attributed to making sure we had fun, some new blood, consistent turn out and lack of injuries. Our focus was playing a short game and supporting each other. Everyone contributed to the team’s success even the goals were spread around more this year. The go to option has been the Clary Special from short corners as usual with a few others also getting in on the action.
Of the 14 rounds, The Legends finished 6th overall out of 8 teams with 4 wins, 2 draws and 8 losses. We are looking forward to the new recruits from the higher grades to bolster our already strong numbers.
The Challenges ahead for 2018
In closing, I truly believe Ryde has an untapped wealth of experienced players within our Club and our recruitment drive needs to start here, giving our Ryde Hockey Family further playing opportunities. Our Club needs to see the Masters as a continuation of the weekend competition.
Ryde, has and needs to continue dominating in representative selection for Sydney at State Championships and in turn NSW with the Nationals, my goal is to grow our number of Ryde players at representative levels.
Men’s Masters Coordinator
This year really was a season with a difference for the Ryde women’s masters’ players.
For the readers of this report who are not familiar with women’s masters’ hockey, I will quickly sketch the background history. Until three years ago, there was no club or association team for the Ryde women to play with in a masters’ competition. Those players who wished to play masters hockey had to join other association teams. Most went to play with either Parramatta or GNS or decided not to play masters.
In 2015 there was a sudden and surprising change to the landscape. After many years of failed nominations, we were able to enter a team of predominantly Ryde players as the Sydney North Women’s Hockey Association team in the SWHL Masters competition, the premier women’s masters’ competition in Sydney. The SWHL Masters competition is an association based competition. It has consistently refused entry to club based sides (with the one historical exception of a UTS team). This is unlike the Men’s Masters Competition which is generally club based. The Sydney North team was entered in division 4, as this was the only vacancy in the competition. Due to this mis-grading, the team won every game decisively and was promoted to Division 1 for 2016. Following this second, even more controversial mis-grading, the team was placed in division 2 for 2017.
Initially in 2017 we thought we would again be a stand-alone team, playing the year in the SWHL division 2, wearing the red and black Sydney North Association uniforms. Once again we were also faced with the same problems from the previous two years – many players of widely different skill levels, and only 16 places on the team. Second division was too low a grade for several of our players from 2016, but at the same time it was too high a grade for some of those players wishing to join and rejoin the masters’ competition.
At this point, in line with the NSW Hockey Amalgamations, the North West Sydney Hockey Association formed a committee to steer the amalgamation of all women’s masters Association teams within the North West area. This included the Sydney North Women’s Hockey Association, the Parramatta Women’s Hockey Association and the Ryde Eastwood Women’s Hockey Association, totalling 8 existing teams across the four SWHL grades.
After a number of meetings with the various administrators and players, the Ryde and Sydney North women’s masters’ players played at SWHL under the banner of North West Sydney Hockey Association, across four teams. The majority of these players were selected in three teams, one in first division and two in second division. This meant new uniforms and a lot of change and adjustments for everyone. On the down side, not everyone was playing with their usual team mates or friends. On the up side, all players who wished to play masters were able to do so, in the appropriate grade, with no one missing out as they had previously. The number of games played by RHHDHC members is recorded at the conclusion of this report.
The Division 1 team finished the season in 3rd place, but were unfortunately defeated in extra time by North Shore & Beaches in the minor semi-final. Congratulations to Kara, Bernadette, Zara, Letitia and Danielle who played in this team. The Division 2 masters grade saw the NWSHA Blue and NWSHA Red teams finish in third and fourth spot. These two teams, with many Ryde and Sydney North players in each, battled it out for a place in the final. The Blues prevailed and went on to play Campbelltown, but unfortunately lost the final. Congratulations to Jenny, Flavia, Lucinda, Ina, Hannah, Pippa, Belinda, Genevieve, Micky, Selina and coach Trudy (Blues) and Kate, Michelle, Marielle, Chu Wai and Roslyn (Reds) for a great year. In third division the NWSHA team did not make the finals, while in division 4, one of the three NWSHA teams (Reds) finished in second place. A special mention for Ros O’Sullivan in her first year playing masters, who played in division 4. Ros reported that she had a great team of players, very friendly and the season was a lot of fun. Her only wish for improvement is that there are more Ryde players with her for next year.
The Women’s Masters Half State Championships were held in July. This year the NWS teams travelled north to sunny Grafton. Six teams were registered in various divisions and age groups. It was a great weekend and one of triumph for the NWSHA first and second teams, with the first team joint winners of division 1 and the second team outright winners of division 2. Well done to Ryde players Bernadette, Danielle, Letitia, Ina, Flavia, Jenny, Selina, Leigh, Lucinda and Pippa who played and Trudy who coached. The 2018 State Championships will be held at Moorebank, so keep the last weekend of July next year free.
The 2017 season has been a challenging but good year for women’s masters’ hockey at Ryde, with a record number of players participating. I look forward to next year being an even better one, with more participation and an appearance in the finals for more of the NWSHA teams. We had some challenges at times, but we also had a lot of fun. So please think about joining us if you were born by 31st December 1983. We know who you are! There are teams available for every skill level.
While many people have contributed this year, there are some people who need specific mention.
Thank you to Danielle and David Alexander for umpiring, your expertise was greatly appreciated. Thank you to Trudy for coaching the Blues team. For many people, coaching a Masters team is really a contradiction in terms – what can you do with a whole bunch of players who have been playing for years and already think they know everything! Well Trudy was different. She really took on the job with enthusiasm and put many hours of thought and preparation into it. This was really showcased at the state championships, where her leadership guided us through tough moments and decisions and her team emerged as the champions. Thank you so much Trudy and we look forward to you rejoining us on the field. Thanks also to Briony Green who was our unofficial assistant coach, helping out with all aspects of the team during the season.
A special thanks to Selina for all your hard work throughout the year. Selina not only managed the Blues team, she also took on a key role with administering the whole of the NWSHA masters group of eight teams. From registration, selections, uniforms, state championships and even end of year dinner and season review, that’s a lot of work! We would never have been able to achieve what we did without all your hard work behind the scenes.
Thanks also to Cecilia, Mick Gunner and Andrew Ramsay for their help and advice on many different matters over the year and to Ryde President Glen for his support of women’s masters’ hockey. To end, I have to repeat my favourite quote from Ina Candorin that I think really says it all about why we play Masters hockey. “It’s not so bad getting old if you are all there to catch up with, and play good hockey”.
Women’s Masters Coordinator