Over the past month some of Victoria’s best men’s and women’s indoor hockey players travelled across the globe to represent Australia in Austria and Moscow.
The Australian Open Men’s and Women’s teams travelled to Vienna, Austria in early November, and competed in the 100th edition of the Vienna Classic Indoor Tournament.
Andrew Scanlon, Zach Meaden and Isaac Pane were selected in the 2019 Australian Men’s Open Indoor Hockey Team.
The Australian Under 21 team travelled to Moscow, Russia in early December, and competed in the 25th edition of the Moscow Night’s Indoor Tournament.
Heath McDonald and Lucas Scott were selected in the 2019 Australian Under 21 Men’s Indoor Hockey Team. Riley Sutherland and Brooke Anderson were selected in the 2019 Australian Under 21 Women’s Indoor Hockey Team.
Below are reports from the some of the travelling party from these tours.
Open Men’s Russian Tour Report
The team came together quickly, with this the first international indoor playing experience for the vast majority of the team. Scoring numerous, high quality team goals became a common trait of the team, with some goals scored within the first 30 seconds of matches.
All three Victorian’s, SCANLON, MEADEN and PANE, made their mark on the score sheet, contributing to the excellent performance of the team.
SCANLON was solid in the role of Left Defender, managing to pass the ball through the tiniest of gaps, from one end of the court to the other, to create goals for the team. At the other end of the court he powered home penalty corners at key moments in matches.
MEADEN showed his skill as a defender and a ball runner every match. From the backline he was able to outplay opponents with his deft use of body feints to create numerous goal scoring opportunities.
PANE showed his ability to spin and turn out of tight situations with the ball under control, making it difficult for opposition defenders and goalkeepers to contain him.
The team finished 2nd, after the final was drawn 4-4 at full time and the match went to shootouts to decide the overall winner. Post SV rose to the top in the shootouts and claimed 1st place. The final can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vihcuXVXiBo
Under 21 Men’s Austrian Tour Report
The team competed against the best of Russia’s open men’s regional teams. The competition was a big step up for all the players, in both speed and physicality. The team fought hard in every match and continued to improve with every outing.
MCDONALD was solid in defence, playing a key role in the team. On a number of occasions setting up key attacking passages of play through his passing while under pressure and making big saves on the goal line when defending penalty corners.
SCOTT showed his speed and skill in the forward line for the team, often turning opponents and creating quality goal scoring opportunities.
Unfortunately, SCOTT suffered a severe shoulder injury late in the second last match of the tournament. Despite the disappointment of his injury, SCOTT, was recognised for his outstanding play at the tournament, being named as the ‘Player of the Tournament’.
The Australian Under 21 team also picked up the award for the ‘Goalkeeper of the Tournament’ (Josh Blakey).
The team finished 5th in the tournament, and the matches were livestreamed on Facebook, via the ‘Australian Indoor Hockey Network’ page.
Both teams were under the guidance of Australian Men’s Indoor Hockey Head Coach Steve WILLER.
SCANLON, MEADEN, MCDONALD and SCOTT will all compete alongside their Victorian teammates at the 2020 Australian National Indoor Hockey Championships in Wollongong, in January.
Also representing Victoria at the National Indoor Tournament will be Victoria’s Jake SHERREN, James KNEE and Tom SINCLAIR, who were part of the successful 2018 Australian Indoor Hockey World Cup Team.
Under 21 Women’s Austrian Tour Report
Riley Sutherland and Brooke Anderson were the two Victorian representatives in this team and they were greeted with snowy conditions in Elektrostal, Russia. The team came together three days prior to the tournament starting where they went into a training camp.
Training involved both on and off field sessions and practice matches against Russian and Belarus teams allowing the players to get a taste of the fast pace European way of playing. The experience of playing quality international teams was incredibly invaluable for all of the girls, fast tracking their development as both individuals and a team.
As the tournament progressed, they were able to implement a lot of what they had learnt and their style of play came a long way, allowing for a number of positive outcomes.
It was an amazing experience with many challenges, Russia is a very culturally diverse country with language barriers quite challenging at times, but it will be a tour that the girls never forget.
Overall the girls came 5th out of 8 teams, having two wins and two losses.
Both Riley Sutherland and Brooke Anderson will be representing Victoria in Wollongong NSW at the Indoor Festival of Hockey in January 2020.