Selection. Former Irishtown Hockey Club player Tayla Britton will represent Australia in Europe next year as she competes in the World Indoor Hockey Championships.
Now based in Perth, Western Australia, the 23-year-old began her playing career with St Peter Chanel Catholic School’s minkey and junior hockey teams before joining the Circular Head Hockey Association with the Canaries at eight years of age.
“It was a really friendly club,” Britton recalls of her time in Smithton.
“All the older ladies were very welcoming. Always giving me things to work on and staying positive, giving me a go when I was youngest on the team.”
Britton followed in her mother Shirlene’s and grandmother Mollie Spinks’ footsteps by joining the local club.
“I could tell early that she was going to go a long way,” Shirlene says of her daughter’s achievements.
Spending much of her childhood on the front porch or in the backyard, Britton always had a hockey stick in hand.
“We’d play out in the backyard together,” Mollie says.
“She would come home from school and that’s the first thing she’d want to do, just muck around together. I’d teach her a bit of stick work.”
Britton recalls these afternoons with her grandmother and older sister Talia fondly.
“Nan always lived just around the corner, it was nice to have something like that in common with her.”
At 11 years of age, Britton and her family moved to Burnie where she joined the Marist Regional College hockey side as well as the City Marians and later South Burnie in the Greater Northern League.
Britton made her first representative side with Tasmania in the Under 12s. She continued to shine and represented the state each year throughout her teens. At 14, she joined her first indoor team.
“It’s quite fast and the skills are a bit more defined,” Britton says of the enclosed version.
“You always have to be three steps ahead of what’s going on.
“I play quite attacking, I don’t like being patient.”
In 2014, Britton moved to Perth where she joined Hale Hockey Club where she continues to make an impact in outdoor and indoor leagues.
Britton will represent Western Australia while her sister will represent Tasmania at the Australian Indoor Championships to be held in Wollongong, New South Wales in January next year.
Following this competition, Britton will travel with the Australian Women’s Indoor Hockey team to the Netherlands where they will play against the host nation as well as the likes of Germany, Belguim and Czechoslovakia.
Hoping to advance her skills in her first stint of international hockey, Britton is looking forward to the competition.
“Germany, they’re the elite of indoor hockey, so hopefully we are able to get some wins!”