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New energy, junior focus and a fresh strip for Swifts

Premiership-winning Swifts player Kirsty Lenagan (left) is injecting enthusiasm into her new role as club president.
Premiership-winning Swifts player Kirsty Lenagan (left) is injecting enthusiasm into her new role as club president. Rob Williams

AS she did as a multiple premiership-winning player, Kirsty Lenaghan has injected plenty of enthusiasm into her new role.

But as Swifts' new club president, the long-serving player and coach is delighted about where the Bluebirds are heading in this year's Ipswich hockey season.

The club is fielding women's teams in A Grade, Reserve Grade, R2 and A2, as well as D and E Grade girls.

"It's pretty exciting. There's lots of junior development,'' Lenaghan said.

"We're hoping to branch out into that C Grade next year . . . (we've got) really good numbers.''

The club president is pleased to have experienced coach Adam Spry willing to work with Swifts' top division team for the new competition starting this weekend.

Spry replaces Ipswich stalwart Megan Bool, who is having a break after coaching Swifts to the grand final in 2016.

"My goal is to develop so that's the exciting part about Adam,'' Lenaghan said. "He too is about development.''

The Swifts' A Grade women launch their 2018 campaign against defending premiers Wests on Sunday afternoon.

The core of last year's Swifts team is back, strengthened by recruits including coach Spry's daughter Ashley, McKenna Evans-Doherty, Rebecca Kalinowski, Samantha Sue and Elise Matherson.

Spry, Evans-Doherty, Kalinowski and Sue have come from Bellbowrie. Matherson joins Swifts from Brisbane.

Lenaghan said Swifts were working to bring promising players like Emily Petersen and Shuauna Richards through the R2 competition into Reserve Grade, looking to the future.

Lenaghan has shared in a number of Swifts premiership successes, including last year's 5-2 Reserve Grade win over Wests.

That was back-to-back Reserve Grade wins for the club, after the Bluebirds overcame Wests 3-2 in 2016.

That year, the Swifts A-Grade team had a terrific season, reaching the grand final where they lost 2-1 to Wests in a rain-affected title decider.

But it hasn't always been easy for Swifts, having to overcome a number of injuries and player losses to remain competitive in the higher grades.

Lenaghan said the club was moving in the right direction this year, buoyed by a resurgence in player interest.

"My passion is to push development of juniors and also to keep those club loyal people,'' she said.

"We're really just about promoting and supporting Swifts.''

Lenaghan said the club was also planning to unveil a new A-Grade strip, most likely after Easter.

"New team, new uniform - that's pretty exciting,'' she said.

Topics:  ipswich hockey association swifts hockey club swifts sports club