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AIR FORCE September 3, 2009
By WO2 Scott Downs
IT'S a trade FLTLT Mark Ross
will be happy to make when he swaps
his Australian Defence Hockey livery
for the Australian country team's col-
ours early next year.
FLTLT Ross from RAAF Base
Williamtown and PTE Tristan Hunt
have been included in the Australian
country team to tour Hong Kong,
Malaysia and Singapore in April.
The duo were selected after the
2009 Australian National Country
Championships in Tamworth.
The Australian Defence Hockey
women's team also produced its best
result yet, finishing third at Tamworth.
The women finished behind NSW
and Victoria, with the men also far-
ing well in finishing fourth to NSW,
Western Australia and Victoria.
GNR Gareth Hoddinott and PO
Derek Bunt were selected for the
Australian under-21 Pacific Cup
team to play in Fiji from December
7 to 13 against New Zealand, Fiji,
Singapore, Malaysia and a NZ
One of the highlights of the tourna-
ment for Air Force was the continued
good form of FLGOFF Shaun Buckett
This was seen as a building year for
ADF hockey, with the men's and wom-
en's teams blooding large numbers of
rookies. In the men's team, nine of the
18 players had stepped up to the higher
level for the first time.
The women had a comparative
number of rookies, with operation-
al constraints also restricting them
from putting their entire squad on the
ground in Tamworth before the third
day of competition.
This meant the newcomers had to
take even more responsibility and all
were equal to the occasion.
Both sides had a great preparation
in Sydney and were looking to improve
their final standings from 2008.
Both teams achieved this goal and
coaches AC Nate Ball (women) and
WO2 Ron Fairhall (men) were satis-
fied with the results, particularly the
development of some of the younger
members of AD Hockey.
AC Ball was particularly pleased
with the women's drive to succeed.
"We came from behind twice to
win during the rounds, and then to
keep firing in the second half of the
NSW semi was just a delight to see
from a young squad," AC Ball said.
Men's coach WO2 Fairhall was
"We now have 25 to 30 players in
ADF men's hockey who can easily
play at this level," WO2 Fairhall said.
"It really stands us in good stead
for next year's championships, which
the ADF will host in Canberra."
For the first time, both the ADF
teams made the semi-finals in the same
year but both came away without a win.
uine arm wrestle and the women to
eventual champions, NSW 5-1.
The men were unlucky all week, and
the semi was no exception, with goals
going begging on the bounce of a ball,
right up to the final whistle.
The women were shellshocked by a
NSW juggernaut that had them on the
ropes at 5-0 at half time.
To their credit, they scored in the
second half and held the opposition
scoreless in a gritty display.
In the matches that decided the
final classifications, the women won
handsomely 3-0 against WA.
The men, who had beaten Victoria
in the earlier rounds 2-1, led 2-0 in the
first half before eventually losing 4-3.
Final standings -- Women: NSW, Victoria,
ADF, WA, South Australia, Queensland.
Men: NSW, Western Australia, Victoria, ADF,
South Australia, Queensland.
FLTLT Mark Ross is one of two ADF
hockey players chosen for Asian tour
Buckett in action.
Photo: Barry Smith,
Northern Daily Leader
It's an honour
LAST LINE: FLTLT Mark Ross defends Australia in more ways than one after he was selected to goal keep for the
Australian Country Hockey team.
Photo: LAC Mark Friend
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