McAuley's Sam Young answers call of duty

FLYING THE FLAG: Sam Young – selected in the Australian All-Schools hockey side.PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN
FLYING THE FLAG: Sam Young – selected in the Australian All-Schools hockey side.PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

McAULEY Catholic College student Sam Young has been selected as part of the Australian All-Schools Under 16 national team after a gruelling national championships campaign in Perth.

Young has been mastering hockey for more than a decade now and in recent years has played in many representative carnivals at State and National levels.

"It is pretty great, it was always a dream but I never thought it would be a reality," Young said. "It was sort of just out there, something to aim for but I cannot believe I am actually going for it.

"The first two hours my parents were like 'I can't believe it, I just can't believe it', and even now Mum always goes back over to read the messages of congratulations, she is just so proud."

Young's selection in the Australian All-Schools side follows his time in the New South Wales Under-16 side that finished second at the All-Schools National Championships in Perth despite winning all their group matches.

"It was really good playing in Perth," Young said. "A couple of teams like ACT are only over there for the fun of it, but playing against teams like Queensland or Victoria it is really good competition.

"We lost in the final 3-1 to Queensland. The weather for the final really didn't help us. We had warmed up and then it rained us out for 15 minutes, so we had to warm up again but it was sort of too late because we had gone cold. We weren't particularly ready for it."

Young played in his first men's hockey game at 14 and since that day has not looked back.

"Playing up in the men's is a lot more of a physical competition, you have to be a lot stronger on the ball," he said.

"You learn a lot more playing against harder teams than easy teams. Especially playing in opens, it helped me a lot coming back to play against the guys my own age.

"There are all different people who are coaching me now, like Rick Sampson and Matt Lobsey who have been giving me really great guidance in the last couple of years, which has really helped me to progress to this level of competition."

Young plays in the Clocktower Hotel Royals Under-16 and A Grade sides in the weekend competition and his Under-16s coach Nick Weller said he could not be prouder of the young player.

"I have known Sam since he was 10 years old when he first started training up with the men's side even though he was not allowed to play with us," Weller said.

"He has always had natural talent, you could tell that from the start, but he has just committed over the last few years and really grown as a player."

Not alone in achievements

Young was not the only Clarence Valley representative at the All-School National Championships last week.

Grafton High Blue first grader Sarah Donnolley played in the New South Wales Under-16 Girls' side who finished third overall after in thier tournament.

Lawrence Public School student Ashleigh Ensbey competed for NSW in the School Sport Australia Under-12 Girls' Hockey Championships in Perth.

She scored in a 3-0 win in the opening game against ACT. NSW followed up with wins over Tasmania and South Australia, a 1-all draw with WA and a 2-0 win over Victoria before losing the final 1-0 to Queensland.

Topics:  hockey national championships school sport

Massive girders arrive for new bridge construction

BIG DELIVERY: Girders arrive for the Sportsman Creek bridge construction at Lawrence.

First of 30 Super-T girders arrive from Coffs Harbour

RIVER OF DREAMS: Students push for action on riverfront plans

Grafton High students Lily Robertson and Georgia Watts presented to councillors about the Clarence River Masterplan.

Frustrated by lack of action, girls take future plans into own hands

Our future in your hands (and a cartoonist's)

Cartoonist to leave mark on Our Future Clarence workshops

Local Partners

Holy schnit: This steak's the size of a small child

It's not every day you get served a steak as big as a baby for lunch, unless you're eating at the Pinnacle Pub.

OJ loses cool as he begs to go free

Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectables sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier.

Tension at the parole hearing didn't stop OJ going free

Lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, dies age 41

Coroner spokesman Brian Elias says they are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide but no additional details are available.

Chester Bennington's body was found in LA at 9am local time.

Tamara's bittersweet MasterChef exit (take two)

Mackay's Tamara Graffen has already gained valuable work experience since her elimination from MasterChef.

MACKAY cook's heartwarming send-off from finals week.

Clarence Valley Gig Guide

DON'T miss the internationally-renowned Acca Dacca show at the Grafton District Services Club on Saturday night.

Check out who's belting out the best tunes this week

Why Sleeping Duck turned down a $500,000 offer on Shark Tank

Sleeping Duck founders Selvam Sinnappan, left, and Winston Wijeyeratne.Source:Supplied

Melbourne university mates turn down hug Shark Tank ffer

Chopin fans get insight into life

ACCLAIMED ENSEMBLE: Contemporary music group Syzygy will be performing at the Clarence Valley Conservatorium on Sunday, August 13.

Big term coming up for Clarence Valley Conservatorium

Island resort living from just $250 a week

Couran Cove on Stradbroke Island is undergoing a makeover. Photo: Steve Holland

Resort offering permanent rentals at almost half normal rental price

Historic OddFellows Hall in Grafton up for auction

AGENT: Terry Deefholts inside the Oddfellows Hall in Grafton. The building is up for auction  tonight.

Built in 1892, it could be yours for the right price

New era for stunning historic Rocky venue

St Aubins Village, West Rockhampton.

St Aubins Village reopens to the public after years of closure.

Cashed-up investors driving Ipswich's luxury housing market

SOLD: Elia Youssef bought a home on Hilton Drive Camira for $830,000.

New wave of interstate investors and young super savers in town