14 straight titles beckon for Wanderers' wonder duo
HOCKEY: Wanderers A-grade men will shoot for a record 14th straight Rockhampton premiership today.
Two members - player/coach Aaron Harmsworth and midfielder Andrew Landsberg - have been there for every year of the dynasty.
They will be hoping the team can keep the amazing run going when it faces off against Souths in the season decider at 6pm at Kalka Shades.
The same two clubs will meet in the A-grade women's final at 4.20pm, with minor premiers Souths gunning for the four-peat.
Harmsworth said while 13 consecutive titles was a remarkable feat, the focus was squarely on today's game.
"We know this run will come to an end one day so every year seems like a bit of a bonus, to be honest,” he said.
"I guess we don't look back too much, we try to keep looking at what's in front of us.
"Whilst it will be good to reflect on this later on, the focus is squarely on Saturday.
"We're not feeling the pressure at all. I think it would be different if it was the same team but we've got a lot of new players coming in each year.
"We've got two players - Clayton Evans and Regan Weatherhead - who will play in their first-ever A-grade grand final.”
Harmsworth said what was also special was that the fathers of five players in the current squad had been involved in the premiership run.
They were Regan Weatherhead and his dad Allan, Cooper Johnson and dad Shane, Clayton and Jaedon Evans and their dad Steven and Callum White and dad Danny.
Landsberg said he could never have imagined when he started playing with Wanderers at age five that he would be part of local hockey history.
"We won three in a row before this run started and that was pretty unreal so the thought of 14 straight is crazy,” he said.
"It's been a different group over the 14 years but we've always had a good bunch of blokes who are willing to learn and willing to put in the hard work.”
Harmsworth said Wanderers were "fighting fit and ready to go” but know Souths will be up for the challenge today.
"We're under no illusions that they'll be coming at us really, really hard,” he said.
"They've got an Australian schoolboy rep in Kaleb Christensen in their team, Nathan Christensen is coming back from injury and Steven Snell is fit so their key players will all be on the park.
"It's going to be a very tough game and I think the team that turns up on the night will take home the chocolates.”
Harmsworth said his teammate Clinton McKay had the ability to break the game open and the team's dynamic strikers had plenty of goals in them.
"We've been playing a good style of hockey, an attacking style of hockey.
"Everyone knows what their job is and that's a nice luxury we have, knowing we can keep going for the entire 70 minutes.
"We're always confident but we're definitely not naive. We know teams are out to get us, but we'll be coming out hard and looking to do our club proud.”