His job is to stop goals but young Tamworth tyro Sam Griffith is also scoring them.
The keeper will play for the NSW Stars side at the upcoming National Under-13s Boys Championships in Hobart.
“That was my goal,” Griffith said.
The 13-year old first picked up a stick when he was about seven and has been hooked on goalkeeping ever since he got his first taste filling in for his under-11s side.
“Our usual keeper was away for a game,” he explained.
Having played a bit of goalkeeper in his soccer days, he asked his mum if he could play in goals that game.
“I did and I enjoyed it,” he said.
The process to state selection started with Griffth making the Tamworth 13s side to contest the State Championships in Wagga.
Going away with the Frogs for the fourth year after debuting in the 13s B’s as a nine-year old, he was named in the extended state squad.
He then attended a two-day training camp earlier this month, from which the Stars and Lions sides to compete at the championships, which run from October 4-10, were finalised.
It was a “hard trial” he said, being put through their paces for four hours a day.
Griffith was one of six keepers in the 45-man squad, from which they selected four to take to Hobart.
“I was very excited,” he said of learning of his selection.
Frogs coach Graeme McKenzie was thrilled for his keeper, who he remarked was solid all weekend and who without their scores would have been a lot bigger.
“I was very very happy for him,” he said.
“I was hopeful but I was concerned when we got beaten 4-nil and 6-nil.”
It has been a big effort for Griffith to get back to top form after being unable to bear weight for almost two months over summer after breaking his ankle.
He loves any opportunity to play hockey and is out at the fields virtually six days out of seven between school, juniors and club training and playing commitments.
He plays for Farrer in the high schools competition, and of a Saturday morning for the Farrer under-15s and Kiwis under-13s before padding up for Kiwis in the local men’s competition.
Griffith’s second season of grade, he plays predominantly third grade but has filled in on a couple of occasions in second grade.
Keeping is a bit of a shared passion in the Griffith household with dad Wayne the South United third grade keeper.
A bit of a hockey novice, his intention was to play with Sam.
But he instead he has found himself playing against him with Sam not willing to give up his spot.