At the start of 2009, NSW appointed a new Women's Coaching Co-Ordinator, naming former NZ Captain Anthony Thornton to the role. Having coached ACT for the last 3 years, Anthony and his family have made the move 3 hours north to take on the challenge of leading the NSW coaching staff.
And what a year they have had so far. The NSW Arrows enjoyed an undefeated run through the AHL tournament, ultimately defeating the Queensland Scorchers 5-3 in the grand final.
This has been followed this week by the NSW Under 21's (shown at right) enduring a heartbreaking grand final loss to the surprise team of the tournament, Tasmania, going down 1-0.
For many people, the Internet remains largely a mystery. It is a place to locate the occasional news item, maybe to purchase some products or for the really adventurous, a place to post photos for family and friends to see.
Now I don't profess to be being an expert in the fields of the Internet or websites, but being an IT consultant usually means that you use the Internet for something more than the family photo album. You learn very quickly that "Support Forums", "FTP sites", "My-SQL" and "PHP" are not "geek speak", but are a useful and often very efficient way of communicating and sharing information.
All websites have to start somewhere. Even the major sites like CNN News, MySpace, Facebook and Amazon started small, and grew. The major issue that vexes all websites owners is the best way to get a website to grow. This is especially true of a website dedicated to a community such as the Sydney Veterans Hockey competition.
A couple of people have mentioned to me that they find it amusing that all the articles on the site are submitted by me. One of the tactics that many websites use to increase their patronage is to use "plants" - people tasked with posting articles under fake names to give the impression of a large user base. Personally, I am vehemently against that. I see it as deceitful and dishonest. I would much rather allow the website to grow under it's own natural steam.
But in order for that to happen, it needs others to contribute. This could be in the form of simply signing up as a member. Maybe the next step is for someone to try doing what I am doing right now, and submitting a blog entry. Of course, you could always try writing a hockey related News Article and submitting that for publication. If someone else starts doing these kind of things, before long, the submissions are not all from one person, and the website can grow and prosper for us all to benefit.
Of course, the primary purpose of the website is to publish detailed statistics about the competition. I would love to be able to provide team and player statistics for all clubs and teams. But in order for that to happen, I would need someone from each team to provide me with these details after each game. Why not give it a go - email me your playing roster, goal-scorers, cards (hopefully none) and a match report after each game, and I'll be happy to add them to the results I already publish.
This year, we are presented with a fantastic opportunity to watch the best teams in the world playing in Sydney, with the Womens Champions Trophy being played at Olympic Park, 11th - 19th July 2009.
Show your support for Hockey by purchasing tickets now for the matches.
Hockey NSW have some fantastic offers for tickets which you can read about here, and includes a way that your club can earn money from it's members going to the matches. Support your club and Hockey and get out to watch the best players in the world.
All of us in the Veterans community will remember the days of playing on grass fields, and having our matches cancelled or postponed due to adverse weather conditions.
Since the introduction of astroturf, the number of games cancelled has dropped to virtually zero. But recently, I, along with 3 other teams had the novel experience of having a game cancelled due to technology - well sort of.
Turning up to play a match at Moorebank on a Wednesday night, I met a number of players from the earlier match leaving. Looking at my watch I thought that strange given it should only have been about half time. When I asked what was going on, I found out that the lights at the pitch had died during the first half, and the match had to be called off.
We stoood around for about 30 minutes until being offically advised that the game was not going to be played in the dark, and that we should all go home.
So while the days of having a match called off because the fields were too wet are long gone, we can still be plagued by technology issues that can result in a match being called off.
The two Sydney teams tried hard but failed by the slimmest margins to make the semi-finals at the NSW over-45s championships in Armidale at the weekend.
Despite late pullouts cutting numbers back to 14 per team and injuries on day one further eating away at resources, both sides never gave up and came within a whisker of seeing Sunday action.
The 2s stormed out of the blocks on Friday with wins over the fancied Central Coast (2-0) and Southern Highlands (1-0). Needing only a draw on Saturday to secure a finals berth, we were disappointing against Bathurst (0-1) then went down to eventual winners Goulburn (1-3) to miss out on goal difference.
The NSW Over 45's State Championships were held recently. Although no Sydney teams were victorious, a number of players were named in the NSW sides to contest the national titles later in the year.
Congratulations to the following Sydney players on their selection: -