The Van Demons team for the opening round clash against the ACT Strikers will be the first all-Tasmanian side in 10 years and features three debutants.
The Van Demons are also bolstered by some returning stars, including Sofie McLeod, Jean Flanagan and Samantha Lawrence.
Lawrence, a former Victorian Viper, makes her return to AHL action with the Van Demons after leading West Devonport to four consecutive Greater Northern League titles.
With a fully Tasmanian squad, the Van Demons have been training together since August and Coach Ilene Carr believes the team will be very competitive on the weekend, having pushed the ACT in the past.
“Having a fully Tasmanian team in 2018, I’m excited to see how we perform against Australia’s best.”
“We had a close 1 nil loss last year where ACT scored with around 5 mins to go. We must take our opportunities when we get them.”
The three debutants is a welcome sight and they include nationally recognised Futuroo, Phillida Bridley, as well as Laura Spandler and Nellie Paynter who will all be introduced to the Australian Hockey League on Saturday.
“We have a number of younger athletes who will make their debut, ” Carr said.
“It’s the most (debutants) we have had for some time and they are all long-term prospects.”
“They are all exciting prospects who bring different skill sets to the team. It’s exciting to have them involved and I’m confident they will relish their opportunity when given the chance.”
“It’s possible that one of these athletes will be our next HockeyRoo.”
Van Demons Team
TAS vs ACT
Saturday, October 6, 5.30pm
Head Coach – Ilene Carr
Assistant Coach – Brett Withington
Team Manager – Greer Wells
Sports Scientist – Ben Scarlett
Doctor – Ian Middleton
Physiotherapist – Ian McHugh
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