Conference development opportunity being grasped in the north

Full marks to North District who have had the good fortune of playing a total of 17 games to date since the middle of October, and also to Ellon women and Granite City Wanderers men who have turned out in six and five weekends respectively.

Gordonians women had a challenging time in last season`s Premiership, but are taking full advantage of the North Conference breathing space to restock their resources.

Gordonians` Rebecca Murray explained: “The North Conference has been hugely beneficial for us this season. We have eleven new faces in the squad so these matches have provided us a great opportunity to gel as a team and practice what we`ve been working on in training.”

“We also have a number of under-18s in the squad doing a fantastic job.”

First mentioned are Jess Freeland (15) and Ailsa Phimister (16). “Both played with us in the Premiership last season and have cemented their place as key members of the team.”

Next on the list are Grace Wilkinson (14) and Anna Warnock (15) who have stepped up from the second team squad, and both “are playing brilliantly, progressing rapidly and have a bright future ahead.” The latter has already found her way to the net at this level with goals in each of the recent games against Ellon and Aberdeen University.

The final group of youth players consisted of Emma Christie (15), Kate Duncan (14), Freya McNeill (16) and Christie Allan (17). On these Rebecca Murray remarked: “They are all great young players who have stepped up from playing district level hockey – the North Conference is providing them a valuable stepping stone to go on to play national league in the future.”

It would appear that Gordonians are making full use of the North Conference to invest in the future, and they might now be well prepared for the Premiership when it starts up again.

Gordonians will look to keep up the pressure on league leaders Ellon with a home win against Aberdeen University. Unfortunately the students have yet to break their duck in the North Conference, although last weekend they went down narrowly 2-1 to Granite City Wanderers.

In the other fixture Ellon face Granite City Wanderers for the third time in the conference, previously the former have come out on top by 3-2 and 5-3. The district league side have come a long way since entering the conference competition, and completing the treble on Saturday would further enforce their development this season.

Ellon came a cropper against Gordonians last weekend, although they were missing several regulars through injury and five under-18s stepped in, but captain Louise Gordon once again stressed the positive. “As always it was good experience playing against a Premiership team.”

In the men`s competition Granite City Wanderers lost their unbeaten record 2-3 to Gordonians last weekend, and are now only three points in front in the table with two games more played. The leaders will favour getting back to winning ways against Ellon who they have already seen off 3-1 and 5-1 this season.

Gordonians are lurking in second place after three straight victories and on Saturday make the short trip to Rubislaw to take on Aberdeen Grammar FPs. The Countesswell`s side will undoubtedly start favourites, but Grammar have shown steady improvement and notched their opening win of the campaign with a two goal defeat of Ellon, with Kieran Christine and Stephen Malloy were on target.

However, last time out it was Gordonians who took the honours with a comfortable 4-1 score, Adam Walker, Paul Weston and a double from Will Serle did the damage.

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