Barbarians hockey women taking on northern opponents

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For the first time, Southland hockey clubs have combined players to create a female Barbarians team to play in a Dunedin adults competition, co-team manager Phillipa Holland says.

Holland and fellow Barbarians female hockey team manager Margaret Dickie said team members were more confident in their abilities after only one round in the Dunedin competition.

“The confidence in the team has grown so much. They are playing with and against players who they did not think they could,” Dickie said.

The Barbarians, made up of 16 players from different Southland clubs, travel to Dunedin most Saturdays to compete in the competition.

“We try to car pool to make it easier,” Holland said.

Dickie said the team was in the competition to play tougher opposition and develop the players’ skills.

“The idea of putting the team together was to challenge our senior players for when they head to tournaments, or for people interested in playing NHL [the national league] to really have a shot at playing a more skilled team full of players,” Holland said.

under-21 players for nationals and the under-18s for future tournaments,” she said.

“Anybody who would want an opportunity to upskill and have a harder competition is welcome.”

This is the first women’s Barbarians team but there is already a male side that competes in Dunedin each year.

“Seeing how well the male team developed and the skills they gained really pushed us to do it for the girls, too,” Dickie said.

“We always have different players coming and going to the games,” she said.

“But we have a good core who always attend about eight or nine [games].”

The team has had three losses, one draw and two wins so far in the competition.

They are in the second week of the second round.

“Watch out round two,” Dickie said.

The team had at least six games left to play and was having its third home game on July 15, she said.

They would love a large home crowd to support the team.

The female team plays at 1pm and the male team plays at 2.30pm at the Eastern Southland hockey turf.

Anybody interested in playing females’ Barbarians hockey can contact Margaret Dickie on 027 436-9672 or Phillipa Holland on 027 208-0364.