Referees stepping up too

SATURDAY’S City-Country hockey matches will be more than just junior representative matches at Under 13, 15 and 18 level between city and country counterparts.

The new format caters for the skills advancement of both players and umpires.

Tamworth will have five junior referees officiating on Saturday – Sarah Willis, Gabbi D’Ambros, Jake Sheppeard, Will Finch and Brandon Dyson – as well as 13 players and coaches such as Greg Doolan and Richard Willis.

Players and umpires from all over the state converge on Tamworth to take part in the annual representative matches.

Newcastle and Wollongong players are part of Country teams where 13 Tamworth players and a few Hockey New England (Armidale) players will be turning out.

“It’s the second year of a new format,”  Tamworth coach Richard Willis said.

“It’s a bit like the York Cup. We have skills sessions in the morning and then play games in the afternoon with three 20-minute periods.

“It’s the first taste of representative hockey for some and a lot about teaching the skills. There is still that passion there for the City-Country rivalry too.”

A special guest Olympian will also be on hand along with the Hockey NSW CEO.

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