Vikings step up to fill A-grade gap

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Georgie Powis, front, will be captain-coach of new side Vikings.
Camera IconGeorgie Powis, front, will be captain-coach of new side Vikings. Credit: Laurie Benson

Vikings will be the new presence in the Lower Great Southern Hockey Association women’s A-grade competition with the new senior hockey season commencing this weekend.

After Tigers pulled out of the women’s A-grade, Vikings have stepped up to fill the void.

Formed about 15 years ago, Vikings have had a strong base of junior teams up to the under-18 age groups before more recently creating two women’s B-grade teams.

An approach from a number of Tigers players was welcomed by Vikings, helping their decision to join the A-grade ranks. Vikings president Damien Stevens said the club was buoyed by a first women’s A-grade outfit and said the future aim was to add a senior men’s team.

“It was about 15 years ago we started with one side and it got bigger and bigger,” Stevens said.

“About three years ago we put a call out for B-grade women that hadn’t been playing or weren’t in a team and all of a sudden we had enough for two women’s B-grade teams.

“This year Tigers were struggling, they had no real club structure and we were approached to see if they could come across and we can provide that junior structure underneath that they were missing.

“This will be a starter team in A-grade this year and eventually we hope to get an A-grade men’s side down the track.

“For us it’s a great opportunity for our juniors to play A-grade without having to change clubs.”

State country representative Georgie Powis will head the new outfit as captain-coach along with her sister Charlotte Powis as the two key senior players.

The Vikings will sport playing strips consisting of white and navy blue and the new side has to wait another week to get under way, with a round one bye.

Reigning women’s A-grade premiers Spencer Park will start their 2019 campaign against North Albany in a grand final rematch on Saturday while the other round one clash will pit Manypeaks against Mt Barker.

Four teams will compete in the men’s A-grade competition with Spencer Park-Tigers tackling Mt Barker and North Albany meeting Manypeaks.

Mt Barker will be chasing a third straight A-grade premiership but are expected to roll out a new-look side this season with a number of their travelling players from the outlying regions not returning.

The women’s competition has been reduced back to the normal 15-round home and away season.

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