For the past couple of months, six Gloucester junior hockey players have been put through their paces, training hard after being selected to be part of a NSW Hockey Centre of Development (COD) program run at the hockey grounds in Taree.
Gloucester Hockey Club representatives Toreen Denyer, Darcey Fry, Elyssa Keen, Nicholas Maslen, Dean Germon and Jackson Blanch are training to become part of a Manning Valley under 13s boys and girls squad that will, later in the year, compete in a tournament in Narellan.
Both squads have been training with other players from the region including a training day with players and coaches from the Port Macquarie COD program, who have been on the same training schedule
The Taree squads will combine with the Port Macquarie squads for the competition in Narellan.
Although they are on a short summer break, training will resume in February until March where they can yet again indulge in their sprints, burpees, suicides, squats, crunches, push-ups plus a range of skills based training designed to push their abilities and make them think properly about game play.
By the end of each session, the players are exhausted but still manage to come away with a smile on their faces.
They’ve had the opportunity to learn from NSW Hockey coaches as well as former state and Australian representatives.
In addition to their training, the young players still found time to compete in the local indoor hockey competition held at the end of last year.
The regular junior season will start up again toward the end of March at Cook Park. The club is also taking expressions of interest for junior and senior players to represent Gloucester in the Taree based Manning Valley competition.