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For brothers Joe, Kieran and Vincent O’Connor the next week will be one in which it will be all guns firing for the Southern Dogs.
The three brothers are all members of the Southern team lining up at the National Hockey League in Wellington over the next nine days, starting tomorrow.
The brothers, the youngest of a family of six boys, hail from Auckland and have all come to the University of Otago to study.They all followed in the footsteps of oldest brother Michael, who went to university in the South more than a decade ago.
The trio of brothers all took up the stick at a young age and then played at at Sacred Heart College in Auckland.
‘‘We didn’t really play a lot in the backyard. That was more suited for rugby games,’’ Vincent said.
‘‘But this year, when we were back home, we all played for our Howick-Pakuranga club together. It was pretty cool when we all played together. You just know all the traits of your brothers so that can help in a game.
‘‘Mum and Dad came down to watch so that was pretty cool.
‘‘In age-groups we never really played all together. It was mainly me and Kieran who played together.’’
Joe was only brought into the team as a draft player over the past couple of weeks, after Max Rasmussen was forced to pull out due to examination commitments.
Joe and Vincent play in the midfield while Kieran is a striker.
Vincent and Kieran play for the University Blue Whales, who won the club title this year.
Vincent said his parents, Phil and Janice, planned to be in Wellington to watch them play in the league, which was a bonus.
The Dogs have been training hard over the past few weeks and will open with a match against Midlands.Vincent said after not playing in the league last year the side was thinking positively.
‘‘We just want to gel together and play well as a team. Just play some good hockey ... the results will come if we just focus on the small things first.’’
• A preview of the NHL chances of the Southern Dogs and women’s team, the Southern Storm, will feature in tomorrow’s paper.