Blue Jays to return to competition after three year absence

WOMENS Premier League (WPL) Hockey has made a triumphant return to Dubbo, following a three year absence.

Next year will be the first year for the Dubbo Commercial Blue Jays, who are under the sponsorship of the Commercial Hotel.

To raise money for the upcoming season, the Dubbo Hockey Association (DHA) will hold a barbecue on Sunday at the Commercial Hotel.

WPL registrar Pam Shuttle said premier league hockey returned to Dubbo thanks to a group of dedicated women and a new sponsor.

"The Blue Jays were selected from the DHA, which is slightly different to how other associations such as Bathurst choose their players. They automatically use registered players from the clubs," she said.

"WPL will give women between the ages of 15 and 28 something other than local hockey. The quality of the Dubbo WPL hockey is relatively higher than the local competitions."

The Blue Jays will start their season in March next year until September. Games will be played weekly on a Saturday.

Blue Jays secretary Steve Hogan said premier league would be a step above the local competitions, and would contribute to the development of hockey.

"With the addition of the Blue Jays, the total number of premier league teams will be a round 10. There are two teams from Lithgow, three from Bathurst and Orange and one from Parkes. It's good to see Dubbo back in there after a few years," he said.

"The fundraiser is a meet and greet opportunity for people to meet the coaches and committee, as well as our major sponsors Adrian and Diana Iverach from the Commercial Hotel."

Anybody interested in the team are invited to the barbecue, which will begin at 1pm at a cost of $10 per plate.

Men's Premier League has also been absent as of late, with no Dubbo team playing in 2012.

Long-time hockey player Gavin Weekes said if anybody was keen to be involved in it for 2013, to contact the DHA. He said there were no immediate plans to bring a team back next year, but it could change.

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