Family tradition passed on to young captain

Cooloola Heat captain Dom Stephens fell in love with hockey at the young age of nine.
Cooloola Heat captain Dom Stephens fell in love with hockey at the young age of nine. Craig Warhurst

COOLOOLA Heat captain and key defender Dom Stephens goes one on one with The Gympie Times.

Q. Firstly Dom, at what age did you start playing hockey and who got you into it?

A. My first game was when I was a little nine-year-old.

My mum played and I guess she got me into it.

Playing in the local Gympie competition I instantly fell in love with the sport and have played Gympie hockey ever since.

Q. What do you particularly love about it?

A. Mostly the team aspects of the game.

You become really close with your 13-14 teammates and it's great fun to get out on the field and play with some of your best mates.

Q. What position did you play in the younger leagues?

A. I started off as the team's fullback and I guess it has stuck.

Still playing fullback to this day, I guess I like the pressure you get by being one of the last lines of defence.

Q. Did you play for any representative teams in your younger years?

A. Not really, I was picked up by the Heat when I was 15 and haven't missed a season yet.

Q. Was it hard to be playing open men's at such a young age?

A. It was pretty tough for us boys but the majority of the side was really young back then.

We didn't win many games but it definitely helped develop and shape me as a player.

Q. How did you come about being the captain of the Heat?

A. Right now I'm probably seen as a veteran of the team so I guess our coach believes I have the experience to lead it.

Q. Is there any extra pressure on you to perform well being the captain?

A. Back when I was younger and the captain, I definitely felt some pressure but at the moment not really.

We are a close group of mates and I try to lead by example but everybody knows you can't always have a great game.

Q. How's this year's season going?

A. It's up and down at the moment.

We have had a couple wins and a couple losses but I believe everything is coming together. The team are aiming on winning games later in the season when it counts.

Q. Has anybody been playing exceptionally this season?

A. My three standouts this year would be my brother Nathan, our goalkeeper Brad Morgan and previously retired Ben Fitzpatrick.

Q. How is the Heat looking for this weekend's game against Bundaberg?

A. Bundy are struggling this season, but we won't take them lightly.

The floods really set their season back but I'm sure they have the potential to pull a win.

Q. Lastly, who is your favourite player in the Kookaburras and why?

Mark Knowles is definitely my favourite player. He is the best defender in the world and I love to watch him play.


Player profile

Name: Dom Stephens

Age: 23

Born: Gympie

Favourite food: Seafood

Favourite movie: Superbad

Favourite music: All types

Sport you would play if not hockey: Surfing

Funniest moment in sport: Not really a funny moment but in my first year playing for the Heat we only won one game all season and that was the only game I missed.