In his first article for On the Fly Hockey, Chris Colefax took the time to visit to the Ice Dogs locker room and catch up with veteran defenceman and alternate captain Tomas Manco, looking back at the 2012 season, and getting his thoughts about the future ahead.
Chris Colefax: You’ve just finished your 6th season playing for the Sydney Ice Dogs. What are the main differences you’ve noticed throughout that time?
Tomas Manco: The biggest difference I’ve noticed is the team culture. No one player is bigger than the team, except for Whitey [retiring captain Andrew White], he is massive (winks).
CC: You guys were knocked out of the finals by Melbourne Ice, who went on to win the Goodall Cup. If you had to rate the season out of 10, what would you give it and why?
TM: We lost to the best team in the league; have to give them the credit they deserve. They’ve really set a benchmark for Australian ice hockey.
I’d have to rate this season 6 out of 10 as we were very inconsistent through out the season. Honestly, I think we only played 4 games during the season to our full potential and even that is questionable.
The one thing that I’m proud of having achieved as a team is when we were down players [due to injury or suspension] alot of younger guys having stepped up. Also we were only allowed to play 3 imports this year and we made it to the play offs, so that shows the Australian player depth we have in our team, not depending on star imports to win us the games.
CC: This year, you recorded another personal best in the point scoring department (2 goals and 13 points all up). Are you hoping to improve on that again next year?
TM: Even as a personal best I am not satisfied with my performance this year as i had a mid season slump and I was nowhere to be found. Lucky I got my form back towards the end of the season. I really need to work on playing the full season instead of parts of it.
CC: What does next year hold for the Sydney Ice Dogs?
TM: I am not sure, you’d better come and watch it because I am hoping we can take it that one step further. However to do that, we need to improve on our weaknesses and utilise our strengths.
You can catch Tomas over the summer at the 2012/2013 Summer League, played at Liverpool Catholic Club Sports Complex, Thursday nights from the 25th of October.
More info on the Summer League can be found at the Sydney Ice Dogs Official Blog: Link
The author would like to thank Tomas Manco for agreeing to be part of this interview.