Hawks RLFC host trial games in preparation for 2023 season

Hawks kicker Jacob Wicks-Palm successfully makes a conversion from the sideline.

FOOTY season is coming, as the Tea Gardens Hawks Mens, Ladies and Juniors held pre-season trial games at Myall Park on Saturday, 15 April.

The glorious autumn day saw all levels play, with the Juniors U-10s vs Karuah and U-12s vs Stockton in the morning, then the Ladies League Tag (16+ Opens) vs Stockton mid-afternoon, and finally the Men’s vs Stockton finishing the day.

“These trials are just to get the players ready for the main season,” Aaron Neighbour, Vice President of the Hawks RLFC told NOTA.

“We have 31 registered male players this season, and only 20 ladies, so we are still looking for more,” Mr Neighbour said.

“We are looking at the best teams we have had in a while, and I would be very surprised if we are not represented in the premiership end-season.”

Mr Neighbour, a Hawk of three years, was especially confident about the Ladies Tag.

“Half of the girls’ team is brand new, but it’s looking like their best year yet.”

The tyranny of distance has made it a struggle garnering sixteen players at training, but all teams are keen, including Juniors, with the U-12s being the first fielded by the Hawks in more than eight years.

Mr Neighbour was very optimistic about the Men’s coming season, saying, “Several key players have come on board this season, and our new Head Coach is Chad Redman, a former Newcastle Knight and Gold Coast Titan in 2015.”

“The Hawks have amazing sponsors, and this is one of the few clubs where players don’t have to pay to play.”

Ben Hanson, Publican of Hawks’ major sponsor the Tea Gardens Hotel, affirmed everyone’s excitement, stating, “It’s the best team we have had in years.”

All players enjoyed the friendly nature of the trial games, exemplified when a few Lady Hawks played admirably for the short-handed Stockton side.

The Hawks’ first real season game is set for Saturday, 22 April, versus Raymond Terrace, a home game at Myall Park.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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