Tournament. Smithton Hockey Club players, and brothers, Keegan and Eddie Popowski have returned from national competition stronger.
The pair played side by side at the Australian Hockey Championships in Wollongong, New South Wales last week (Friday July 7 to 14).
While it is not the first time the brothers have taken to the turf together, currently playing with the Rocky Cape Tavern Smithton Saints in the Greater Northern League, it was a proud moment to represent the state together.
Playing with Tasmania’s Under 21 side this year, Keegan, 21, debuted at the national championships with the Under 12s and has featured in the state team from 2007 to 2013. Eddie, 18, also debuted in his first eligible year with the Under 12s in 2011 through to 2014.
Defeating South Australia 3-1 and Australian Capital Territory 2-1 throughout the recent tournament, the Tasmanian side finished the competition sixth overall.
“It was a great learning experience for me,” Keegan says.
“I experienced a lot of memorable moments with some great mates.”
The opportunity to play against Olympians Blake Govers and Tim Howard was a highlight, says Eddie, as was stringing together promising passages of play with his older brother.
“Scoring in the last game was my main highlight,” Keegan says.
“There were a couple [of] times throughout the tournament that the two of us strung a fair few passes together which was pretty exciting.”