The long wait is almost over for the Tamworth hockey community to experience their new world class facility in all it's glory with the first games to be played on Wednesday night.
The men's masters teams will be the first to hit the pitch for the 2020 season, playing a round of trial games ahead of the competition start the following week.
The first local winter sporting code to resume competitive games post the COVID suspension, Tamworth Hockey Association president Mark O'Connor said there is a real sense of excitement.
"We are very very exited to have our first competitive games for the season," O'Connor said.
"It's a day we've been really looking forward to and a day we didn't think would come (because of he pandemic)."
Adding to the buzz is the upgrade of the complex, which includes the addition of a third water-based field, an extension to the existing clubhouse and new changing room and toilet facilities.
The existing two fields have also been resurfaced.
"Everyone is really excited to have their first opportunity to play on the new revamped surfaces," O'Connor said.
Despite being shortened by the pandemic, it is promising to be a very busy season with the addition of a women's masters and mixed secondary competition.
"It's the first time we've ever had women's masters in Tamworth and a really significant indication of the capacity and scope the new fields give us," O'Connor said.
"We've got four teams that are going to be playing in that which is a fantastic roll-up for the first time we've run it."
It will start on July 15 and run alongside the men's masters on a Wednesday night.
The mixed secondary competition will meanwhile be played of a Monday night.
Complimenting the existing girls and boys competitions, O'Connor said the idea behind the introduction of the competition is to give the teen-aged players an opportunity to come together and play in a competitive and fun environment.
Following Wednesday's masters trial games, all three men's grades will play trials this weekend ahead of a July 11 start for the third grade competition.
The first and second grade competitions will commence the following weekend, along with the women's first, second, third and fourth grade. The junior boys and girls will also play trial matches that weekend.
Minkey is slated to start on July 25. O'Connor said they are also hoping to run their Tadpoles program (for 3, 4, & 5 year olds) some time in August.
"It will be busy but our facilities are A1 and we're well prepared," O'Connor said.