Brent Russ and Nathan Butterick.
Brent Russ and Nathan Butterick.

Bears pair selected for NSW under-18 hockey team

GRAFTON boys Brent Russ and Nathan Butterick have been selected to represent NSW at the national championships.

The pair who play together at the Grafton Bears will take part in a two-week tournament which will be held in Newcastle in July.

Nathan will be playing in the centres and Brent the forwards.

"It's not the first time I've made the State team but it's the first time I've made it in that group," Butterick said.

He said it would be great to play alongside an older teammate and friend in Russ.

In terms of the contribution to the good start their club side the Bears have made in the local competition, Butterick played a humble line.

"It's not really down to us (as individuals), it's just a really good team effort," he said.

Russ is in Italy at the moment, on a school excursion but his father, Michael said he was really happy to have made the side.

"He was rapt; he tried out last year but didn't make it," Michael said.

"This time round he trained really hard to get in."

He said his family hoped to make the trip down to Newcastle to see their son play.

"It's a big thing to have it NSW this time and everyone will be hoping they can take out the win," he said.

The boys' coach at the Bears, Peter Herden said the boys were just two of a number of very strong players working their way through the ranks.

"We've got a lot of young talent down there and there are a lot who would have narrowly missed out on making the side," Mr Herden said.

 The National under-18 championships will be played in Newcastle from July 1-13.



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