After a summer of hard work, Caroline Springs hockey teams took to the field for the first time at the weekend.
The club, which formed late last year, had significant interest and has been able to field two women’s and one men’s team, along with its junior sides.
One of the women’s teams is playing in Hockey Victoria’s Pennant F division, while the other is in Metro B north-west.
Both won their first matches at the weekend.
The men’s side, playing in pennant G division, lost.
Laura Brown is part of a five-woman leadership group across the two women’s sides. Joining her is Melissa Lake, Kathy Jungfer, Holly Azzopardi and Lexi Grant-Taylor.
Brown said the club went with a leadership group as opposed to a captain, to give a number of players a voice.
“With so many new players it was hard to pick a captain,” she said. “We wanted to share the responsibility around.
“It provides learning opportunities for some people who may not have wanted to captain on their own, but do it with the support of others.”
Brown said there had been an influx of players who had decided to return to the sport, which was a massive boost for the club.
She said being a new club they didn’t have many expectations heading into the season.
“If it ends up in a premiership that would be amazing,” she said. “[But] It’s about getting to know everyone and see how we go.
“We’ve got some very talented players in our teams. There’s a few who are a bit rusty having not played the last couple of seasons.”
Coach David Gorton asked Brent McMillan to take on the captaincy role.
“I’ve played hockey for about 20-odd years. My wife and kids moved across to play with Caroline Springs this season and for me it was more about playing with the family so I made the move too,” McMillan said.
“I was captain of Melton’s second team last season.
“They were looking for someone who had a reasonable hockey background to take on the role here.”
McMillan said this season was about ensuring they got it right to start with and to help build the foundations of the club for the next 15 to 20 years.
“I think we’ll be competitive this year, whether or not we make finals will depend on how we gel together.
“I’d like to see us competitive each week.”