State reps shine

Local players (from left) Daria Reeve, Connie Perry, Maddison Poke, Eddie Popowski, Alex Eatts and Rhys Burgess represented Tasmania in Hockey Australia’s National Championships earlier this month. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

Hockey. Circular Head’s next generation of hockey stars have returned after competing in Hockey Australia’s National Championships across the country earlier this month.

Representing Tasmania in U/18 and U/15 boys and girls categories were Maddison Poke, Rhys Burgess, Eddie Popowski, Alex Eatts, Connie Perry and Daria Reeve, competing against rival states for a chance at championship glory.

U/15 Girls reps Connie and Daria played closer to home in Hobart, with their side finishing ninth out of the 12 teams competing.

“It was pretty fun,” Daria said. “We trained on weekends in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie [in the lead-up].”

Eddie Popowski and Alex Eatts jumped on the long flight to Rockingham in Western Australia, with Eddie finding the lighter side to the extended trip as their team finished in second-last place.

“The flight was good because we had television,” he said.

“We worked pretty well together [as a team], but it was tough.”

Rhys was the sole representative for an U/18 Boys side who finished sixth out of 10 in Canberra, while Maddison played her matches with the U/18 Girls in Melbourne whose team finished in the same position.

“It was a good step-up from the U/15s, a lot tougher,” Rhys said.

Maddison added the strength of hockey in Queensland and New South Wales was evident by their first-and-second-placed finishes respectively, but said her team competed strongly against the smaller states.

While Tasmania may not have finished first in their age categories at the National Championships, every Circular Head player involved scored at least once during the tournament aside from Alex, who remained busy defending his net as goalkeeper.

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