Matangi Mustangs hit the ground running in Senior Men’s Club League
Matangi Hillcrest Lacrosse – new to the Waikato Lacrosse Senior Men’s Club League this season – have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
Their team – the Matangi Mustangs – have a strong hold on the proceedings after winning all four of their matches in Round 1, and top the League on 8 points. Te Awamutu Marist currently sit in second position on 6 points.
But there is no complacency in the Mustangs’ camp. President Aaron Parker is quick to point out “It is going to be very close in Round 2. Any team could win on the day!”
The idea for the Matangi Mustangs came into being after a few beers between friends Aaron Parker and Greg New. The boys, overhearing the discussion and liking what they heard, made sure that the men followed through with their plan.
The focus of Matangi Hillcrest Lacrosse has been to create a club with a culture that embraces younger players, and school leavers in particular, so that they have their own club and space. These players have played High School League, are talented and passionate about the sport, but don’t fit within the more traditional men’s clubs. Without a club catering for their age group, there was a risk that players would be lost to the sport.
The team has a core of younger players, as well as 4 more experienced players who also play in the Auckland Men’s Club League. There are also 9 players who are completely new to lacrosse or to the Waikato Men’s League.
Parker points out “we are very lucky to have experienced players Lucas Thom and Kristofer Nebesky” to coach and mentor the team. “We are after a high level of lacrosse on the field…. and want to teach better skills so that our players can develop.”
But the intense play is balanced with fun at Matangi Hillcrest, and there is always a barbeque after practice.
The decision to start the club under the umbrella of the Matangi Hillcrest Sports Club was an easy one. They have a strong family focus with around 60 members, are a central part of the local community, have outstanding grounds, and are hugely supportive of the boys and lacrosse.
Parker says that social media is a key part of communication within the club and for connecting with the younger players. The club is also actively reaching out to the local community to get new people along to watch the games and see lacrosse first-hand. “We are working hard to get more rugby players involved and to give it a go. There is a huge opportunity to get more people involved” observes Parker.
It has been a great start for Matangi Hillcrest at the 2019/2020 Waikato Men’s Club League. “We have achieved what we wanted to achieve!” says Parker.
Photo credit: David Mills