Experienced Riverland coach Brett Stokes left last Saturday afternoon in charge of the Australian Country Women`s Hockey team on a tour of Singapore and Malaysia (Melaka, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpa). The group return to Australia on Sunday 12th April after playing in some 12 matches against local teams.
Included in the team at the last minute to replace an injured player was one of Berri`s 2014 premiership stars Naomi Weatherald.
With the 2015 season fast approaching a men`s Premier League team from Forrestville has been hosted by Loxton during which time it held its Training Camp, played a match at Glassey Park and held a Coaching Clinic for juniors.
Again this year the last Teams of the Year from the Riverland and Barossa associations will meet, this year on Anzac Day at Berri`s Glassey Park. The Riverland Men`s team will be coached by Loxton`s Tara Allister and Women`s by Waikerie`s Jason Redemski. As the Riverland -Hockey SA Academy coaches Tara and Jason have been involved in Academy sessions recently.
The Anzac Day event will serve as a trial for the Riverland teams for the State Country Championships which are being reintroduced in 2015 in place of the Zonal system. The Championships will be held at the SA Hockey Centre on 16th and 17th May. Stokes will coach the men`s team and Loxton`s Kelvin Burgemeister the women`s.
Then from that tournament the teams to represent the State at the National Country Championships in Wolongong in August will be chosen. Renmark`s Danial Shawyer will debut at that event as an Assistant Coach to Barossa`s Matt Kingsmill.
Turning to the National scene former Berri junior Karri McMahon will not play for the Hockeyroos in the approaching Test Matches against China in Sydney as she recovers from a broken jaw but she has been named in a squad to travel to New Zealand for the Hawkes Bay Festival. Meanwhile another former Berri player Georgie Parker is returning from injury and will be involved in both Sydney and New Zealand.