Gloucester Hockey Club to front two teams in the Manning competition

Gloucester Hockey Club's men's division three team took out back to back premierships after winning the 2019 Manning competition. Photo Anne Keen
Gloucester Hockey Club's men's division three team took out back to back premierships after winning the 2019 Manning competition. Photo Anne Keen

Like many sports post-COVID lock down, hockey is getting ready to take to the field for a shorten season and Gloucester is due to front two teams in the Manning Valley Competition.

According to committee member, Dave Keen the club will be putting up a men's division three teamm as well as an under 15s team.

"It's important for us to continue our momentum after winning back to back premierships and to make sure we continue to have a presence in the Manning competition," Dave said.

But it's not just the men's division who have been making a splash in the competition over the past couple of years, the juniors have also been finding themselves at the top of the leader board. It's part of the reason the Gloucester Hockey Club has decided to press on with the shorten season despite several other clubs opting out.

"We have a lot of juniors who are wanting to move up to the adult division and this gives them another season to help with the transition," Dave explained.

The Manning Hockey Competition is due to restart on Saturday, July 18.

Manning Hockey president Debbie Monck said it appears as though spectators would be allowed to attend matches.

"Our three (turf) fields are spread out so there's plenty of room for social distancing,'' she said.

"We don't get particularly big crowds for games in our season-proper, so that shouldn't really be an issue. Hopefully the restrictions will be eased a bit more when our finals are played in September.

"But we'll have to wait and see with that.''

Two sides from the Hastings, Port Thunder in division one men and Camden Haven in division one women, are definite starters.

Manning Hockey's season was scheduled to start in March but that was put on hold due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

Hockey NSW has now ruled that player registrations for this year will now also cover 2021 because this season has been cut short. The association plans a shorter semi-final series in all grades to give all teams the chance to play more matches.

Sides that finish minor premiers will go straight into the grand final, with the second and third placed teams playing for the other spot.

Grand finals are set for Saturday September 26 - just one week later than originally planned.

Ms Monck said previously there was no enthusiasm to play into October because of the clash with school holidays and also the start of summer sports.

"Now that some travel is allowed people will want to get away in the holidays,'' Ms Monck said.

"We don't want to get in the way of that.

"It's been a long wait, now we're just happy to be able to have a game.''