Last year’s runner’s up Norths will go into Saturday’s Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League season opener bolstered by the signing of Nathan Hochman.
The Northern Territory striker arrives at the club in time for their first-round encounter against Wests at Newcastle International Hockey Centre.
Hochman, who recently relocated to NSW for university, was named in Hockey Australia’s “Futures Athletes” program featuring 27 stand out players from the 2017 under-18 national championships in Hobart.
Norths coach David Willott rates Hochman as a “good player” and welcomes his addition to the squad for the upcoming campaign.
But while Hochman will be in action, his new teammates Ky Willott, James Piper, Oliver Flack and Jesse Moss are unavailable for round one.
Norths, celebrating “old boys”, and Wests will play for annual club silverware the Stanbury Moane Cup. First grade starts at 4pm.
Sunday sees University host The Entrance (1:30pm) while the match between title holders Gosford and Souths has been deferred. Maitland have the bye.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Newcastle District Women’s Hockey Association premier league season also starts at Broadmeadow on Saturday.
Defending champions Tigers tackle Souths in a grand final replay (12:30pm), Regals meet University (1:45pm) and Oxfords clash with Avoca (3pm).