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Anthony • 15 mins
By Bridget Hicks (PSG Staff)
New South Wales 12 years and under girls hockey team have enjoyed a fun week on and off the field at the 2017 Pacific School Games.
Coach Matt Liles and his team participated in six round-robin games during the competition and spent plenty of time getting to know themselves and other teammates.
His expectations of players coming into the championships were focused on performances rather than the final result and their strong finish was an added bonus.
“My expectation was to know our team plan and to play to the team plan,” Matt said.
“We said at the start of the week we just wanted to make sure that our last game was our best game, so there was that focus on continual improvement.
“We also wanted to be consistent for the 50 minutes as opposed to being up and down like we were at the beginning of the week.”
Matt believed that the team had accomplished their goals and was impressed with their performance throughout the week.
“It was really nice, we had a Tasmanian parent come up and compliment us on the style of play in that last game today and I think if you’re getting that kind of feedback then you’re on the right track,” Matt said.
“There’s probably been six girls in the team that have had the chance to go away to Perth as part of the Under 13 Australian Championships, so they’re bringing back that level of experience and game intensity which has definitely benefitted them, but for some of them it’s their first national carnival and they’ve all done extremely well.”
Mackenna Eynsbey, from Lawrence Public School in northern NSW, is one of the students who has enjoyed both the sporting and social aspects of her visit to Adelaide this week.
“I had fun playing hockey, I made some new friends and on the rest day we went out to the beach and had lot of fun with the boys and girls (hockey players),” Mackenna said.
“We’ve played a different structure and learnt how to use the girls in the team and how to pass around the field.”
Grace Jones, a student at Wollondilly Public school, shared similar highlights.
“I’ve had fun going to the beach and hanging out with the girls from my team,” she said.
“This week I’ve learnt how to work with other players you haven’t played with before.”
The Pacific School Games hockey championship concluded with a closing ceremony at the State Hockey Centre on Saturday afternoon.