Tamworth Hockey Association will embark on a very-different double State Championship title assault this weekend.
While some of the best young female talent will be chasing under-18s success in Newcastle, a group of former Frogs open men’s team-mates will reunite in Wollongong for the over-35s championships.
It’s the first time Tamworth has fielded a men’s masters 35s team for about nine or 10 years.
Playing in Division 2, the side is a mix of players still plying their trade in Tamworth, and those now playing in Sydney or elsewhere.
“It’s almost a bit of a reincarnation of the Frogs open teams from about 10 years ago,” Sam Lobsey said.
He carries some fond memories from those days, and recalled making the final in 2006.
“A lot of the players from that area are coming back together for the first time in a while,” he said.
The Lobsey name has long figured prominently on Frogs’ team lists, and will again this weekend with Sam joined by brothers Brett and Matt.
The latter is one of two Australian players in the side. He and Adam Bannister will play for the Australian over-40s at the Masters World Cup in Spain beginning in late July.
“We’ve also got Robbie Campbell. He’s still playing first grade and coaching in Sydney,” Lobsey said.
“He’ll play in the middle and direct us around.”
At the other end of the spectrum is Rod Spark.
“He hadn’t played hockey for 10 years. He’s started playing back in Tamworth for Workies,” Lobsey said.
And while the weekend is predominantly about “getting back together and playing some old school hockey and enjoying each others company” with the calibre of players the Frogs have they are expecting to do quite well.
Both sides start begin their campaigns on Friday.
The girls are in Division 1 and play Newcastle (1) first up at 9.05am, followed by Illawarra South Coast at 4.40pm.
The men have Wagga Wagga at noon and then Nepean at 5pm.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.