Kedron-Wavell Wolves add youth and fitness
AN INJECTION of youth and a focus on fitness have raised hopes of a better showing from the Kedron-Wavell division 1 men’s hockey team this season.
A lack of condition was partly to blame for the Wolves’ second-last placing last season, coach Matt Smith said this week.
“We were running out of puff with 20 minutes to go,” Smith, a Kookaburra from 1994-2002, said.
Smith took the reins at Burringbar Park just before the 2013 season began, after coming up from the NSW Institute of Sport for his new day job in player development at the Reds, and so missed the pre-season.
But to harden up for 2014, the Wolves were ordered to get cracking on their personal fitness programs in October.
To complement the improved conditioning, Smith said his player selection had broadened this year, and he was especially enthused about some new, gifted youngsters including striker Christian Ramsey, defender Kai Douglas and half Danny Springfield.
‘They are the kind of kids we are trying to attract.”
As they strove to rebuild, the Wolves had adopted a youth policy that Smith hoped would start to pay off in a couple of seasons.
But for this year, his goal was to be more competitive and eradicate the lopsided defeats of 2013.
If they record some wins over clubs that finished near them on the ladder – such as St Andrews, Valley and UQ – Smith said he’d know the rejuvenation was on track.
This Saturday’s season-opener, however, was against powerhouse Labrador at Burringbar Park at 5pm.
“That’ll give us a good indication of where we are at,” Smith said.