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Anthony • 15 mins
By Joshua Papanikolaou
Standing at six-foot-two, goalkeeper Jed Snowden is an imposing figure in goal for the Victorian 16 and under hockey team playing at the State Hockey Centre in Adelaide in the 2017 Pacific School Games.
The student from Strathmore Secondary College plays for Essendon in the Victorian Premier League and put in another good performance in goal during the team’s 11-1 win over the Australian Capital Territory.
It is a family affair at the Games for the Snowdens with his older brother Hugh hitting balls at Jed to warm him up before a game, while their parents watch on from the stands.
“I’ve been playing a high level in the seniors, in the under 18s for Victoria and now here,” Snowden said of his season after the game.
“I actually got forced to do it (goalkeeping) but now I enjoy it and I’m pretty good at it.
“You’ve got to direct everyone around, I’d like to think I’m a bit of a team leader.
“It’s been a pretty good experience so far, we’ve had fun together, we’re in a good spot and we’re playing really well together.
“I made a few saves and didn’t let many in so it’s good.”
The 16-year-old has been playing hockey since he was eight, following in the footsteps of his father Ian and uncle Neil Snowden who was a goalkeeper that competed for Australia at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games.
His older brother Hugh, who is a striker, represented the 17 and under Australian team in Germany this year and has taken over his dad’s role of hitting balls at his younger brother in the warm up.
“He’s hoping to make the Australian team out of this competition, but so is every other kid here,” father Ian said of Jed.
“I played as a striker like Hugh, I try to hit a few balls at Jed, but they don’t go as hard as they used to be, and he says I don’t hit them hard enough.
“All the kids hit them harder than me now… he’s six-foot-two and so is his brother, and his arm span is actually about six-foot-four.
“When I do get a few past him I remind him of the fact, it’s all good fun.”