Hockey. In a return to the Smithton Saints in the Greater Northern League this season, Sam Porteus-Smith began the year at the 2018 Australian Championships.
Following a season with Burnie Baptist, including a GNL Division One premiership title, Porteus-Smith returns to his home club this season as round one gets underway this weekend.
Familiar with the intensity of the national championships, Porteus-Smith debuted at the annual tournament in 2013 with the Tasmanian Under 13 squad. He returned for his third appearance last year with the Under 16 side before stepping up to the Under 18 level at the competition held at the Northern Hockey Centre in Launceston.
The local 17-year-old joined more than 350 players from across the country for the week-long tournament in which the Tassie side finished in sixth place with two victories, three defeats and one draw.
Playing at right halfback, Porteus-Smith said he was proud of his national performance in his home state and now looks to the season ahead: “My aim this season is to play more consistently,” he says.
Alongside his playing duties in the GNL, Porteus-Smith will feature in the Premier League with the Derwent Strikers after appearing in the Cantebury line-up last season.
“It was definitely a big step up from GNL,” he says of last year’s debut.
“I played one or two games last year, it was definitely a lot quicker and more fast paced than what I’m used to.”
Looking to gain further experience in the Premier League, Porteus-Smith says he will continue to improve his game with the Saints.
The Tall Timbers Smithton Saints will travel to meet with Launceston City in round one of the Greater Northern League this Saturday (April 7) from 2.30pm.