IT is all happening lately for the Port Macquarie-Hastings Hockey Association at a representative level.
Fresh on the back of Josh Dowrick’s appearance for Australia in South Africa earlier this month, Jacob Searle represented New South Wales at state level in Tasmania last week.
He only returned to Port Macquarie on Monday afternoon.
New South Wales took two teams to the under-18 state championships and it was Searle’s team who suffered a heartbreaking loss in the final.
Western Australia won an enthrallingfinal 2-1 in a penalty shoot out after both teams fought out an entertaining 3-all draw in normal time.
“Both teams were undefeated leading up to that,” Searle said.
“Even the first game in the whole tournament we played a 2-all draw with Western Australia.”
The team from across the Nullarbor were defending champions so while Searle and his teammates were disappointed, they were pleased with their overall performance.
It was the teenager’s first taste of hockey at a representativelevel.
“I’ve been on the fringes every year until now so it was good for me to finally break through that barrier and make this team,” he said.
“It was good exposure because I haven’t really played at such a high level before andI was happy with how I handled myself.
“It’shopefully set me up for another good tournament next year.”
Challenging conditions throughout the week made life uncomfortable for players and spectators alike.
“About half an hour away from where the fields were it was snowing one of thedays,” Searle said.
“Every day we were playing in three or four degree temperatures.”
After getting a taste of representative hockey, the 16-year-old who celebrates his 17thbirthday on Thursday said he still hadambitions of playing for Australia.
“I think that’s every kids dream and my goal is the Olympics if I could so it’ll be great watching the upcoming Rio Olympics and the Kookaburras play,” he said.
“There might be a few late nights.”
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