In­ter­na­tional chal­lenge

FOUR GOUL­BURN VAL­LEY HOCKEY AS­SO­CI­A­TION PLAY­ERS HEAD­ING TO HOME OF HOCKEY

Shepparton News - - SPORT - By Lau­ren Bordin

Perth is the home of hockey in Aus­tralia and, in Novem­ber, four Goul­burn Val­ley Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion tal­ents will head there to com­pete in a ju­nior in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment.

Shep­par­ton’s fa­mous hockey ex­ports Louise and Chris­tine Dobson both trained there in prepa­ra­tion to be­come Olympians, and now more young stars are look­ing to rise up the ranks.

Shep­par­ton Youth Club’s Kyle Said, Euroa’s Andy Williams, Be­nalla’s Evan Dowe and Echuca-Moama’s Tay­den Moni­gatti will rep­re­sent a joint Vic­to­ria and NSW side at the FHE Cup.

Ja­pan and Malaysia will also be a part of the com­pe­ti­tion in Novem­ber and Kyle, 15, was thrilled to be tak­ing part.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be chal­lenge be­cause they’re a whole dif­fer­ent level of hockey in those other coun­tries, but I’m look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge,’’ he said.

‘‘The way they play will be much dif­fer­ent to the way they play here.’’ Ready to take flight:

The four Goul­burn Val­ley Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion play­ers may be ri­vals in the lo­cal league, but have spent plenty of time in rep­re­sen­ta­tive sides to­gether.

All were in­vited to a Mel­bourne trial from which they were se­lected in the fi­nal team.

It is another big step for Kyle, who changed from foot­ball to hockey just three years ago.

Join­ing his sis­ter Skye, who was al­ready play­ing the sport, the Saids are a prom­i­nent fam­ily at SYC with younger brother Ryan and par­ents Richard and Ther­riesa also play­ing.

Even though he only be­gan play­ing three years ago, Kyle has al­ready seen im­prove­ments in the GVHA.

‘‘It’s more com­pet­i­tive now than when I first started and it’s taken a bit more se­ri­ously which is good be­cause I like a bit of com­pe­ti­tion,’’ he said.

Last year Kyle stepped into A-grade for the first time, and is now a reg­u­lar player in the top tier where he is no stranger to find­ing the back of the net.

A tal­ented crick­eter dur­ing the sum­mer, he has no re­grets about mak­ing hockey his main win­ter sport.

‘‘It’s just a dif­fer­ent sort of game, you get to hit the ball around and be­cause I play cricket as well I’m used to us­ing a bat or a stick,’’ Kyle said.

The four will be hop­ing to bring some glory to the joint Vic­to­rian/NSW side and help the GVHA shine on an in­ter­na­tional stage.

Pic­ture: Tara Whitsed

Echuca-Moama’s Tay­den Moni­gatti, Be­nalla’s Evan Dowe, Shep­par­ton Youth Club’s Kyle Said and Euroa’s Andy Williams will com­pete in a ju­nior in­ter­na­tional hockey tour­na­ment in Perth in Novem­ber.

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