Tamworth and New England hockey talent was recognised as among the state’s best at Hockey NSW’s annual awards on the weekend.
Armidale gun Nathan Czinner was named the Junior Male Field Player of the Year while Tamworth’s Ehren Hazell was the joint Junior Male Indoor Player of the Year.
Armidale’s Sam Wright was also one of six Basil Sellers Scholarship recipients while Trevor Brown was acknowledged for his contribution to masters hockey.
Wright and Czinner are currently in Tasmania representing NSW at the under-18 National Championships.
Tamworth’s Harper Galvin is also on NSW assignment with the boys Blues while Armidale’s Mia Emanuel is keeping for the girls State side and Sarah Askey lining up for the girls Blues.
Tamworth’s Alex Taggart is meanwhile playing for the South Australian boys.
Another troupe of talented youngsters are set to join them in state colours next month after being named in the NSW under-15 squads to contest the nationals in Wollongong.
Tamworth’s Nick O’Connor and Armidale’s Rohan Lawrence will feature for the boys State side and Armidale’s Tyler McCann the Blues, Chelsea Thornton (Armidale) and Amber Witney (Tamworth) the girls State side and Tamworth pair Dakotah Barnett-Suey and Maeve Galvin the Blues.
Now living in Sydney, Hazell was surprised to learn of his award success.
“I only played the one indoor tournament,” he said.
That was the under-21s. He was though the blues second top goal-scorer with seven goals after scoring two goals in the opening two minutes of the tournament.
Currently preparing for the outdoor season, Hazell said the main thing he is working towards is the NSW under-21s side.
He is in the squad for that.
He’s also hoping to figure in Australia’s Sultan of Johor Cup defence. Hazell and Workies team-mate Isaac Farmilo were part of the side that won gold in October.
Familo has also moved down to Sydney, although the pair will still be traveling back to play for Workies in the Tamworth men’s competition – the rare taste of grand final defeat adding that bit of an extra spur.
“We’ve got to get our premiership back,” Hazell said.
Their eight-year premiership reign was ended by Kiwis last year in an extra-time thriller.
Both will also play for Norwest Strikers in the Sydney men’s competition.
Fourth last year, Hazell believes they are in for a good season.
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