What’s wrong with the Newcastle North Stars?
It’s a question that’s been asked a lot this season and there is an easy answer. Some would disagree but we really should be looking at the quality of the league and the strength of all the teams.
Most games in 2014 have been tighter with the leader board resembling a game of leapfrog. The core strengths of the North Stars, however remains the same, good quality hockey in front of healthy home crowds. The club has lost a few close games during the season and clubs need to win not only at home but also on trips like the Perth double-header.
The full team came together late in the season with Brain Bales and Beau Taylor joining after the season had commenced. In these situations they need to work into the systems and see how the new imports play and to learn their styles.
In my opinion the future of the club looks solid with a great bunch of junior players coming through the ranks, something the North Stars have been known for.
A quick look through the team lists of the East Coast Super League and Midgets, will see plenty of talent ready to make the AIHL step.
One player who has made the step this year is rookie, Hayden Sheard. Sheard has shown that in the coming years he will be at the front, leading the North Stars into the future. You can easily add Patrick Naden to the list that will blend into the local talent like Matt Wetini, Tim Stanger, Jaysen Chalker and Hamish Powell.
If the puck falls the right way for Newcastle, then season 2014 could be a surprise for all those who wrote them off.
The Newcastle North Stars hold their own destiny in their own hands.