Echuca wil host a hockey training session on Sunday.By Geordie Cowan
Kookaburras goalkeeper George Bazeley will be the star attraction at a hockey training session in Echuca on Sunday.
The session will also double for all players selected in the North West Country Lightning squads who are competing in the Zone Challenge.
Former Moama resident Bazeley will hold a special clinic for all the Echuca-Moama Hockey Club and Lightning junior goalkeepers.
Twelve River Rats were selected in the Lightning teams, which played their first matches of the inaugural competition at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne at the weekend.
The Zone Challenge is an under 12, 14 and 16 competition which comprises six metropolitan and four regional zones, designed to provide juniors with a clear pathway from club to state teams.
The teams will play nine matches through four weekends.
Lightning zone co-ordinator Ged Grimwade said players were selected based on their passing, receiving, shooting, tackling, involvement and temperament.
Also, all bottom-age players selected in July’s Junior State Championships received automatic selection into the zone challenge teams.
As well as the benefits of playing and receiving coaching outside the regular winter hockey season, the competition also doubles as part of the selection process for the Victorian under 15 teams.
Grimwade said it would be fantastic to have a player the calibre of Bazeley available for the training session.
‘‘Even though he is a goalkeeper, the professional attitude needed to be an Australian player is something any player can learn,’’ he said.
‘‘His (knowledge on) preparation, in-season training and out-of-season training and how to transfer from a state or regional player into an Australian player is invaluable.’’
Some under 16 Zone Challenge games will be played in Echuca on Sunday, November 10, with four games featuring the Lightning, Albury and two Melbourne teams.
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