They may be one of the smallest in the region but Robertson Hockey Club are punching above their weight with the help of some impressive juniors.
This year is the first in many that Robertson has been able to field teams in all three grades for both men's and women's competition.
With both first grade sides sitting stop their respective ladders, Club Secretary Natasha Blenkinsopp said it had been rewarding to see the progression of the club.
"[It's been] quite successful," she told the Southern Highland News.
"Both our first grade teams have been extremely successful and this year we've got teams in every senior grade for the first time in a long time."
With some impressive results from their junior teams in recent years, Robertson are now reaping the rewards of development.
"Our juniors have probably carried us for the past couple of years," she said.
"I just think there's been a lot of development within our juniors and just bringing them through grades has been one of the biggest changes because we've needed those kids to play up to be able to field teams.
"Our Under 13's have been undefeated for the past three years, though they aren't going so well this year, and we've got the Under 11's undefeated and on top of their ladder so there's strength coming through.
"We've had kids represented in every age group for the association at State Championships as well."
Blenkinsopp said juniors playing up also had some unexpected benefits, such as creating a wide range of ages within each side and allowing for some impressive knowledge exchanges.
"We've got a good array of ages as well," she explained.
"In our third grade men's team you have my son who is 12 playing up in that team and the oldest player is in his seventies.
"Third grade women's is the same. We have 12-year old girls playing there and the oldest player might be my mum who has just turned 69. Across the board we are very diverse and very inclusive."
Junior competition returned last weekend after a Covid-enforced break while seniors return this weekend.
Robertson's first grade women's side sit first on the ladder, an impressive 16 points above second-placed Moss Vale, who they face on Friday night.
Blenkinsopp said mentoring from senior players had made all the difference.
"The fact we have a few young girls playing in that team and being mentored by the older players to help their development has been really, really good.
"We have a couple of Under 15's girls playing in the first grade team and we've picked up a couple of girls from Frensham who have come across to play with us as well."
First Grade Women's Hockey
Robertson v Moss Vale, 7:15pm
Field 1, Welby Hockey Centre
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