Tips from the top

Hockeyroos star Nikki Hudson (left) passes on some tips to (L-R) Matt Willis, Simon Massey, James Riddell, Tristan Ireland, Stewart Morgan, Kirsty Onus and Alice Pearlman. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 140705GOD01BUDDING young hockey stars were served a “triple treat” when Hockeyroos stars Nikki Hudson and Angie Skirving, and Kookaburras newcomer Daniel McPherson rolled into Tamworth to conduct a World Best Hockey Clinic.

Around 45 young hockey enthusiasts attended yesterday’s clinic, a similar number to that which braved wet and cold conditions in Armidale the previous day.

Skirving has just landed back on Australian shores after touring the US and Canada with the Hockeyroos.

“It was great. We had six wins and two draws,” she said.

“A lot of girls made their debuts and it was the first time the squad had been together since the Athens Olympics.”

Among Skirving’s highlights was a hat-trick in one game, no mean feat for a defender, but she was just happy to be getting back into training and competition after taking a break following the Olympics.

There will be no shortage of competition in the coming months, starting with home Tests against Korea next month and then the Champions Trophy in Canberra in December.

“We’ve got a really busy program all geared towards the Commonwealth Games,” Skirving said.

Hudson missed the US tour with a hamstring injury but is poised to be back in national colours for the August series.

“Korea will be a really good opposition and some nice hard matches should be great,” she said.

The midfielder is one of the most capped in the Hockeyroos’ team and is excited by the young talent coming through, predicting Australia would remain among the top three nations.

Hudson, too is aiming to remain a permanent fixture in the national side, and is not anticipating hanging up her stick despite 13 years on the international scene.

“I’m hoping to play for another eight years, another two Olympics.

“As long as the body holds up.”

And she offered a simple philosophy to the youngsters.

“Really do the basic things well.

“Hockey is a simple game made complicated by


In contrast to his Hockeyroos compatriots, McPherson is one of the new additions to the Kookaburra squad.

He won’t be touring with the side on its upcoming campaigns in Germany and the Netherlands but is heading off to Perth on Sunday for a two-week training camp with some of the national team.

“There’s an AIS tour in September so hopefully I should be going on that to Korea and Japan,” McPherson said.

The former Goulburn player is one of three goalkeepers in the Kookaburras squad and was instilling in his young charges yesterday the importance of technique.

“Once you get the technique right, everything else falls into place,” he said.

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