BACK IN BLUE: Orange’s Nick Hill is hoping to earn selection in the NSW Under 21 men’s hockey team after being named in the squad.NICK Hill was surprised to be named in the NSW Under 21 men’s hockey squad last week.
Hill, along with fellow Orange player Nick Milne, had already been chosen in the NSW Under 18s team to contest the national championships in April.
Now there’s a chance Hill could contest the under 21s national event in July as well.
“I’ve jumped up a couple of age groups,” Hill said of his 21s selection.
“I didn’t expect it. I thought I’d be under 18s and that would be it. They’ve shown some faith in me.”
Hill’s selection has come after a busy off-season.
Rather than taking a break during the warmer months, Hill has continued training and trialled for the state 18s side in January.
The 18-year-old is also making the most of his second year with a NSW Institute of Sport scholarship.
“It’s helped heaps. You get the state’s best coaches,” Hill said of the NSWIS program.
“One of the coaches has been involved at the national level so I’ve picked up so much.”
His NSWIS scholarship means he is in Sydney every Thursday and Friday and this year has to also balance his Higher School Certificate studies at Kinross Wolaroi School.
He’ll also be in Sydney on Saturday’s to play first grade for Burwood Briars.
This will allow Hill to join with former Orange player Keiran Gentles.
Hill will have his last chances to earn a place in the NSW 21s team on March 18 and 25 at the final selection trials.
“I think I’ve got a pretty good chance (of selection). I got good feedback,” Hill said.
“I have to perform at our trials and I should have a chance. You never know if you’re there for experience. An 18-year-old making the 21s doesn’t happen often.”
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