COOKE Hockey Complex will play host to both the Over 35s and 65s NSW Masters State Championships starting this Friday.
A total of 17 teams will be taking part in the three-day tournament (eight in 35s and nine in 65s), which brings together some of the state’s top hockey talent.
Bathurst will be strongly represented in the competition with both 35s and 65s teams.
The strong contingent of both local and visiting teams is a pleasing thing for Bathurst Vets Hockey president Glen Buttsworth.
“We’ve had a few more Bathurst 35s players join up this year. We thought putting in for [hosting] it we could keep a lot of them interesting in continuing on,” he said.
“They’ve got together a pretty good side … and it’s all Bathurst guys this year. In the past we’ve had to bring in a couple of guys from other areas to help us make up the numbers.
“It’s a strong age group. I watched the final of the 35s in the masters nationals a few years ago and it was a cracking match. A lot of 35s players are still playing top grade hockey in Sydney as well.”
Buttsworth said the 65s have enjoyed constant strong support from Bathurst players every year.
“We have a full squad of 16 in that age group, and they’ve always been right up there towards the top so hopefully they can come away with a win,” he said.
“They’ve only had around six to seven teams usually in the 65s so it’s good to see a few more this year. That’s the case for the 35s this time as well. They have a couple more teams than in the past.”
The other Central West team in attendance will be Orange, who have been drawn in the same pool as Bathurst for the 35s.
The tournament starts for Bathurst’s 35s at Friday 8am against Macarthur 2. Bathurst’s 65s begin their competition at 12pm against Manning Valley.
On Sunday the final for 65s division A will start at 12.15pm and the 35s division A final will follow at 1.30pm.