Wanderers' young guns ready to fire in CQ League final
HOCKEY: Regan Weatherhead and Callum White will have an extra spring in their step when they line up for Wanderers in the CQ League final this weekend.
The dynamic duo were instrumental in Queensland winning gold at the Australian schoolboys championships on the Gold Coast, which wrapped up on Sunday.
Aaron Harmsworth, their Queensland and club coach, said the pair both had outstanding tournaments and were outstanding in the 4-2 grand final win over Western Australia.
Weatherhead went on to be named as a shadow for the Australian team.
Harmsworth is expecting Weatherhead and White to carry their impressive form into Saturday's extended league decider against Gladstone side Meteors at Rigby Park.
"It was a really good win and they will both be confident in their game and keen to get out there and play well for their local team now,” he said.
Wanderers are gunning for their 13th straight title, while their opponents are making their first grand final appearance.
Meteors are also in the women's final and will take on Southern Suburbs in what is expected to be a close contest.
Meteors men booked their finals berth with a 4-1 win over Southern Suburbs, while Wanderers cruised in with an 8-1 win over Frenchville Rovers.
Harmsworth said he was not surprised to be playing Meteors.
"They're starting to build a pretty strong team and you get the feeling they're a team on the rise.
"They've got a couple of really good young players coming through and a couple of blokes in the middle in Craig Gultzow and Jordan Wilson, who are senior players leading them in the right way,” he said.
"I'm expecting a good game. They'll obviously have a big crowd and it's on their home pitch so they've certainly got a few things going their way.
"But experience in big games is something we've got in spades, so hopefully we can come out firing with a good start.”
Wanderers will field what will be their strongest team of the season on Saturday.
"We've got a strong 16 and our bench is as strong as our starting line-up,” Harmsworth said.
"We'll be looking to stay up-tempo and play out the whole 70 minutes.
"We're fit and we're fast, so we'll be trying to run them off their feet a little bit.”
Harmsworth said "linchpin” Clinton McKay would be vital to his team's chances, while strikers Aaron Thomspon and Lachlan Wilson would be looking to get the team on the board early.
He said the players were keen to keep the club's winning streak going for as long as possible.
"Obviously we don't want to lose any game. We'll keep striving to keep our runs going in all competitions we play,” Harmsworth said.
"For us, it's about being consistent and playing well in the big games.
"In my view the CQ League is the big one. It's home and away and there are six teams in the comp, so this for me is the big one to win.”
The men's final starts at 6.30pm, the women's at 5pm.