Hockey league bans Deavin

Tamar Churinga hockey player Tim Deavin

Tamar Churinga hockey player Tim Deavin

LAUNCESTON Olympic medallist Tim Deavin has been banned by hockey administrators from playing for his local club Tamar Churinga in the Greater Northern League competition.

Back home briefly from his Kookaburra’s base in Western Australia, the 30-year-old Deavin had wanted to support his home club which sits on the bottom of the GNL ladder.

He played one match for Tamar Churinga against South Burnie two weeks ago. It is understood that another GNL club made an official complaint saying his involvement could affect its ladder position and final’s chances.

Hockey-North West administrators, who run the GNL, upheld the complaint and banned Deavin from taking part in any more games – raising the ire of hockey fans, players and officials around the state.

Tamar Churinga president and Deavin’s father, Phil Deavin, said the club had appealed the decision but it had subsequently been upheld with, as yet, no explanation.

Mr Deavin said his son would defy the ban and play for Tamar this weekend against Queechy to support a charity fund-raiser day at the St Leonards Hockey Centre as part of a statewide hockey Call To Arms cancer initiative.

‘‘We hope to have a huge crowd there to support the fund-raiser and Tim will be available to meet people and have photos taken and sign autographs,’’ Mr Deavin said.

‘‘Queechy are excited and happy for Tim to play and have embraced the opportunity - so regardless of having to possibly forfeit points the game will go ahead.’’

Mr Deavin said while his son had been home he had given his time freely to support the sport including travelling to Hobart to speak with and encourage junior players taking part in the School Sports Australia under-12 championships.

‘‘Tim is happy to give back to hockey and it is sad that a decision like this overshadows his return when he is only here for three weeks or so,’’ he said.

GNL convenor Balt Vandenberg could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

Hockey Tasmania chief executive Andrew Winch said he did not the support the decision but was unable to overrule it.

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