Six South West hockey stars have been acknowledged as some of the best players in Western Australia.
Georgina Dowd (Harvey), Meg Read (Bunbury), Charlotte Massey (Busselton), Shannon Dyke (Dalyellup), and Jacqui Hutton (Witchcliffe) were selected for the 2018 WA Under 18s’ Women’s side.
Ferguson Valley’s Tom Harvie was picked for the Under 18s’ Men’s team.
They will take on some of the country’s best hockey players during the national championships in Launceston, Tasmania from March 13 to 21.
Both WA sides scored bronze medals in last year’s tournament.
Last month, participants competed in trials before a squad of 22 was selected.
The players then trained as a unit, with the official teams revealed on February 1.
Massey (striker) said the training built up her confidence prior to the tournament.
“The training was really good, Kobie McGurk (coach) is really knowledgeable and we’ve learnt a lot from her in just the short time that we have been training,” she said.
"It feels so cool to be picked, it’s the first state team that I have made so it’s pretty great.”
Both squads will be working on fitness, ball skills and team bonding before next month’s event.
Read (midfielder) currently plays for Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, Boyanup, and South West Strikers.
She said the number of South West players chosen reflected positively on the region.
“The South West as a whole did really well in the trials and there are heaps of us in the teams,” she said.
“It is such an honour and a privilege to represent the state.”
Dowd (striker) said she was proud to represent WA and take part in a national tournament with the 16-year-old’s affection for the sport undeniable.
“It is good to go up against teams like Queensland, New South Wales and many other consistently strong teams that are on a whole other level,” she said.
“There is a completely different ethos and attitude to the sport that you don’t get with many other sports.
“I’ve played other sports and I never felt the kick that I got when I played hockey.”
Harvie (midfielder) has been selected for every state side since the age of 12.
“It’s an amazing feeling to put on the black and gold, there is nothing quite like playing for your home state and representing your club,” he said.
Harvie said anyone interested in hockey should dive in and have fun.
Visit the hockeywa.org.au to track the teams’ progress during the championships.