Young hockey stars fly flag for SA

23 Jun 2017

NINE South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) hockey players will be among the men's and women's teams representing South Australia at the 2017 Australian Under-21 hockey championship at the Illawarra Hockey Centre in Wollongong between Thursday, July 6, and Friday, July 14.

Miki Spano (Adelaide Uni), Euleena MacLachlan (Burnside) and Amy Hammond (Grange Royals) are in SA women's team, while Angus Fry (Adelaide), Simon Wells (North East), Luke Larwood (Port Adelaide), Kurtis Willson (Forestville), Lachlan Busiko (Seacliff) and Isaac Whittaker (Grange Royals) are competing in the men's team.

SASI head hockey coach Tim White, who is coaching the women's team, said the squad had a solid lead up to the titles.

''The preparation has been pretty good,'' he said. ''We did lose Samantha McKenna who had to pull out with a foot injury and we have had a few other injury concerns but I think we're looking good.

''In a tournament like this it will be important to start well. It is quite cutthroat and won't be easy but our team is quite experienced.''

Last year the SA women's team finished fifth at the championships, while the men were seventh. The men will be coached by Hockey SA High Performance Manager Hugh Purvis.

The men's and women's competitions will be held concurrently and played on two pitches.

SA women will have a tough start to the tournament on the first day (and first match) against reigning champion, Queensland. Victoria and the Northern Territory make up that pool of teams. Each team plays each other and then meets teams in the other pool (Western Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales, ACT). SA's men's team, which also begins its competition against Queensland, is pooled with NSW and Tasmania. Victoria, the reigning men's champ, ACT, WA, and NT are in the other men's pool.

Hockey

See footage of the U21's in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZbpR9xf4Os

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