Southern Cross Masters Hockey History
The first Grand Masters World Cup was hosted by Malaysia in 2002 and to beef up the competition, Malaysia offered an Over 50s
competition for interested teams.
John Watts organised an interested group of suitably aged gentlemen most of whom were living in Melbourne at the time and called
the team Melbourne Southern Cross. The team wore the Victorian State Hockey team uniform.
Most of the Melbourne Southern Cross players were reasonable players, however several had never played for their States before,
much less at an International competition level.
Keith Jervis was in the team (he is an ex Victorian) and we were very fortunate to have David Peebles as the Captain/Coach.
David had spent many years in KL/Singapore/HK as an international banker so knew the hockey and social scene there pretty well.
Other players of that era included Bruce Smith (VB), Neil Coster and Alistair McNab.
The (real) World Cup was on at the same time so the Southern Cross guys all had a great time playing and watching hockey.
Melbourne Southern Cross ended up losing 1:0 to the Malaysians in the final, playing on the same ground as the World Cup guys.
Co-convener of Southern Cross Hockey in 2012, Ric Roberts, was lucky enough to have the goal scored by the guy he was marking
at the time! (and is gracious enough to allow that little gem of information to be published here).
Anyway, time moved on and MSC petered out until interest was again sparked during discussions between former teammates at the
annual Masters National championships.
Word got around that the new organisation, Southern Cross Masters Hockey, was considering nominating a team in the Tournament Trophy
competition to be held in parallel with the Grand Masters World Cup at Oxford, England in 2012.
There was strong interest from players from all over Australia and Southern Cross Masters Hockey (or SCMH for short) ended up nominating
one Over 60s team, two Over 65s teams and one over 70's team which went on to win the Gold Medal!.
Bruce Smith is the sole survivor from that 2002 squad (he was only a youngster then, still is), but Chairman Ric Roberts put
his name on the 65 Reds team list just to upset him.
Southern Cross Masters Hockey performed very well in Oxford, both on and off the field with many players from other parts of the world
enquiring as to where such a splendidly turned out and large squad of elite players had come from.
With the Oxford competition finished in August 2012, sights were set on getting SCMH organised for 2014 at The Hague in Netherlands.
However, with the number of enquiries from both current SCMH players and others who didn't travel in 2012, it soon became obvious
that we needed to find another major tournament to be a part of.
That tournament proved to be the 4th Grand Masters Hockey European Cup at Kontich, Belgium in August 2013.
Nominations for Kontich 2013 started gathering pace in December 2012 and by January 2013, SCMH already had enough players for up to
three teams. To be continued...