Hockey Men's - Cooloola Heat vs Maroochydore - Riley Bambling Heat
Hockey Men's - Cooloola Heat vs Maroochydore - Riley Bambling Heat LEEROY TODD

The Cooloola Heat player that needs to fire against Rebels

Hockey: Cooloola Heat are yet to be handed their first loss of the season and this Saturday they hope to continue their perfect record against the Buderim Rebels.

With two senior players ruled out of the clash, it will be up to the young guns to fire, in particular attacker Riley Bambling.

"John Daly and David Dixon are away. John is a midfielder and leaves a hole that the young fellas will have to fill but I am sure someone will step up,” Heat coach Dominic Stephens said.

Hockey Men's - Cooloola Heat vs Maroochydore - John Daly Heat
Hockey Men's - Cooloola Heat vs Maroochydore - John Daly Heat LEEROY TODD

"We will need to move players around. Nathan Stephens will play centre-half and Riley will need to step up.”

Bambling will move into a more attacking role following the reshuffle but coach Stephens' is confident he can rise to the occasion.

"Riley will have a larger attacking role this weekend and we will be sending a lot of ball down through him,” he said.

Hockey - Cooloola Heat vs Buderim - David Dixon Heat
Hockey - Cooloola Heat vs Buderim - David Dixon Heat Leeroy Todd

"He will take it in his stride, he is ready for it. I'm confident in him and the players around him.

"I had to do a reshuffle and he is going where Nathan would usually play, so he will have a bigger role to play.”

Heat have been on fire in the season recording two wins and draw, with the young players deserving most of the praise.

Hockey - Cooloola Heat vs Flinders - Nathan Stephens
Hockey - Cooloola Heat vs Flinders - Nathan Stephens Leeroy Todd

"It has been a really good start to the season. The young players have taken ownership of the team and they are the driving force,” Stephens said.

"We have a young core that is not experienced but wanting to learn. We are doing the little things right with a good mix of players.”

Stephens said the players should take confidence from their draw against Flinders last week.

Hockey - Cooloola Heat vs Caloundra -  Dominic Stephens Heat
Hockey - Cooloola Heat vs Caloundra - Dominic Stephens Heat Leeroy Todd

"They are one of the top sides and we were leading from the first 40 minutes of the game and the boys held on despite being under the pump,” he said.

"Just to get those couple of wins has done a lot for the players' confidence and experience that winning feeling.

"It is exciting, the team is learning so much regardless of the result and happy with how things are tracking.”

Heat v Buderim at Gympie Hockey field one, Saturday, 6pm.

Gympie Times


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