Exciting hockey action coming this weekend
HOCKEY: Several hockey teams will be honing their skills from this morning and tomorrow in the Lightning Nine's Carnival at the Gladstone Hockey Fields.
With sultry weather forecast, the shortened version of the game will surely test the fitness of the players who will be hailing from Souths, Meteors and the Sparks clubs.
Rockhampton-based teams Frenchville and Goats will also take part.
The 40-minute matches start from 9am today with Souths against Meteors and the last match is from 7pm in which Souths take on Sparks.
The business end of the carnival culminates with the grand final at 11.40am.
Meteors' young gun Tom Smith, 17, said it will be full on.
"I think the games will be a lot quicker,” Tom said.
The centre-half plays in the Gladstone and extended Rockhampton competition and has been playing in the A-grade competition for three years.
"The transition (from juniors) was easy, but it's definitely more quicker and physical where I had to also develop my skills further,” Tom said.
He hopes to use this weekend as a launching pad for the Meteors ranking to improve from fourth in the Rocky competition and second in the Gladstone competition.
"We're looking to play as hard as possible and definitely looking forward to improve in both comps,” Tom said.
Nineteen-year-old Sparks forward-midfielder Cameron Hay said his team will use the games as practice games.
"It's pretty much a fun tournament and I think that we'll do well together,” Hay said.
"It will be good to just be back playing together and we also have a couple new players from Rockhampton.”
Meteors Gaby Davie, 14, will enter her second year at A-grade level and it's something that she describes as a privilege.
"I'm looking forward us to play as a team and we have got some new and returning players,” Gaby said.
After some early trepidation at the top level last season, Gaby said she grew comfortable and up to speed with older and more experienced players.
"It was overwhelming at first and my skill level improved as the season went on,” she said.
"When I was four years old, I grew up watching all those players that I am now playing with and against and I'm now in awe.”
Souths foundation member Judy Aitkenhead will be on the technical bench to watch daughter Susan Aitkenhead play.