Nhill open hockey teams needs players

NHILL'S open hockey team is urgently searching for players to compete in the 2014 Wimmera Hockey Association season.

Nhill has nine players committed to playing this season, with a minimum of 13 required to play.

Wimmera Hockey Association records secretary Rachel Clark said the team faced the prospect of withdrawing from the open competition if it did not get more recruits by Wednesday night.

“Numbers for Nhill’s open team the Rangers – a predominantly men’s side – are looking uncertain with several players departing with university and work commitments,” she said.

“If no more names come forward as soon as possible, the Nhill open team will fold, which would be a blight for the association as well as the Nhill and District Sporting Club.”

If the open Nhill team folds, the open competition will be reduced to five teams.

The open competition was previously a men’s division, but was changed to allow women to fill in if there were player shortages.

The association still has women’s and junior divisions, and Nhill is able to field full sides in both divisions.

Clark said anyone interested in joining Nhill would be welcomed, no matter what experience they had playing hockey.

“It is a great sport to play – it’s easy to learn and if anyone has a soccer background it’s the same sort of positioning,” she said.

“It’s a good family sport and with all of the matches being played at one venue each week it’s more common for players to play for any club not necessarily based on location.”

Clark said former players were also welcome to come back to the association.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Wimmera Hockey Association and Clark said it would be a shame to lose a men’s team on the eve of the season.

All matches are played on grass fields in the Wimmera on Saturdays, except for night games occasionally played on Friday and Saturday nights under lights at the state-of-the-art Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre.

The centre will also play host to an association round robin competition on March 29.

Clark said people could call her on 0428 755 859 for more information.

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