Depth of talent in Gladstone hockey and this is proof
HOCKEY: Four Gladstone rising stars have been recognised with state selection ahead of a major championships which starts next week.
Ryley Bobart and Hayden Pease are in Queensland's first team, Charli-Rose Adams in Queensland's second team, with Jorja Grundy as the shadow, as the quartet head to Wollongong for the Under-15 National Championships from April 18-27.
Ryley, who plays for Meteors in the Central Queensland Hockey League competition, says he has got better and better in his overall game.
"My leadership qualities have undoubtedly improved since under-13s as well as my ball control skills," he said.
The classy young fullback said Jordyn Wilson has had a huge influence in his development and tries to play as much hockey as he can as part of his preparation for the nationals.
And of course he has his eyes set long-term. "I would love to play for the Kookaburras when I get older and better at hockey," Ryley said.
Midfielder-cum-halfback Hayden, also a Meteors product, said sacrifices have been of a huge benefit.
"Doing fitness training, club training and elite squad training on Sunday afternoons," he said of what he commits to. Hayden added that he has improved in his passing skills and techniques in almost every aspect of the game.
"Club coaches for U16s and A-grade have significantly influenced me to work hard," he said. Hayden hopes his selection will be a stepping stone toward senior state selection and Aussie representation.
Charli-Rose said doing running skills and drills three times a week has helped her in her game.
The Gladstone Souths junior, who also plays among the women in the top-tier women's CQHL in the right inside position, said strength and fitness has been the focus to where she is today.
While she looks up to her mum for inspiration, Australian Hockeyroo star Anna Flanagan is her idol and Charli-Rose hopes to wear the Aussie colours in the future.
Goal-keeper Jorja may not see any action as the shadow, but she has big goals in mind.
"My goal next year is to make the U18 state team and play for Queensland," she said. "My future dream is to make the Australian futures squad and make the Australian team."
Jorja has been playing as the 'keeper for just three years and explained in what areas she has got better.
"My clearances have improved drastically since last year. My ability to lay down and sliding during the game has also improved," she said.
She has lauded her coach 'Miss Johansen' and father Bruce Grundy. "Together they helped me play my best game and helped me to get to the place I am today," Jorja said.