HOCKEY: Warwick hockey player Matt Eastwell heads to New Zealand with the Queensland open schoolboys team next week, in his first appearance playing for his state.
"I have wanted to make a Queensland team since I first played for Darling Downs in Year 6,” Eastwell said.
He was selected after playing for Darling Downs in the Queensland open schoolboys championships in Ipswich this year, where he scored one goal as a striker.
"I set up a few goals from the short-corner formations. My role was to trap the ball at the top of the circle so the potential goal scorer could shoot for goal.”
Eastwell said he expected to play in the forwards for Queensland but was happy to play anywhere.
With hockey in off-season mode, Eastwell has been doing some training with Queensland vets players Adam Byrne and Matthew Hagenbach and Corinthians star Jamie Ollerton.
Eastwell will play eight games in the North Island after flying in to Wellington. After 13 days across the Tasman, they will fly out from Auckland.
This year, Eastwell played for Wyverns in the Warwick A-grade grand final. Next year, he will again play for Wyverns in Warwick and play Toowoomba hockey for Past High.
Long-term, Eastwell would love to make a senior Queensland team.
He will graduate from Assumption at the end of this year and hopes to take up an apprenticeship as a butcher next year. He is one of three Warwick underage players heading to carnivals in the school holidays.
Warwick pair Jack Bergemann and Bailey Butledge will play for Queensland in the under-13 nationals in Perth, a carnival which coincides with men's and women's Australian Hockey League carnivals.
It will be the first national carnival for Bergemann and the second trip to Perth for Rutledge who played for Queensland in the west last year.
There will be two more players/officials with a local connection in Perth. Queensland U13 player Katarnia Taylor is a granddaughter of Warwick player Rob Pohlman, and former Warwick junior Lee Bodimeade is Queensland Scorchers coach.
See story next week on all Warwick representatives at vets nationals.