Two hockey goalkeepers from The Armidale School have been selected for representative honours in coming months.
At the under18 Mens State championships in Bathurst in late April, Will Brissett and TAS schoolmates Jonathon Chamberlain, Rob Hann, Sam Wright and Sterling George represented New England in Division 2, narrowly missing out on a place in the finals to the eventual Division 2 winners, Canberra.
This competition was the final opportunity to impress selectors, who selected Brissett to play as goalkeeper for the NSW Blues at the under 18 Australian championships in Launceston, Tasmania, in the July school holidays. The championships is played over 10 days, with teams from all States and the two Territories competing.
Meanwhile Sterling George’s performance in the nets at the Combined Independent Schools trials on 25 May was enough to snare him the goalkeeper’s spot in the CIS team, to play Combined Catholic Schools and Combined High Schools in June.
George, Brissett, Chamberlain and Wright made up a third of the combined GPS/CAS (Great Public Schools/Combined Associated Schools) team that took to the oval at the CIS trails, Moorebank in Sydney.
Coached by TAS ‘gap’ student Piers Beesley, who has played in the Swiss national competition, the combined team comprised of boys from Year 7-12 from TAS, Newington College, The King’s School, St Joseph’s College, Barker College and Knox Grammar School. There was plenty of tough competition, with a 1-1 draw against Independent Sporting Association (ISA), 1-2 loss to Christian Schools Sports Association (CSSA), and a 3-0 defeat at the hands of AICES (Association of Independent Co-Educational Schools), who eventually won the day’s competition.
“The day started with keeping trials where we faced strikes from players of all teams, and I was really happy with my performance at that,” said George, who started playing goalkeeper aged 8 for South Tamworth and is also a NIAS representative.
“During the competition itself I only spent half of the first game in goal and played in the backs for the rest of it.”
Selectors commented their role was extremely difficult this year due to the high level of ability and competition, resulting in the need for a possible and probable playoff match at the end of the day’s play, which involved six GPS/CAS players. Brissett and Wright were named in the shadow squad, while Wright and Jonathon Chamberlain also helped out with umpiring duties for the team.