EUROPE BOUND: Gaddes, Lambeth step up for their country
HOCKEY: After impressing selectors at the School Sport Australia Boys 16 Years and Under Championship on the Gold Coast last weekend, Jake Lambeth and Tyler Gaddes have booked themselves a spot in the SSA International Hockey Tour to Europe in May next year.
First, however, the Grafton duo will need to get their passports.
While NSW finished third in the championships, Lambeth and Gaddes were both thrilled to hear they had been picked to represent Australia in the schoolboy tour at the closing ceremony of the Australian championships.
"It was pretty surreal to know you've been picked to represent your country, it took a bit to sink in and I think it still is," Gaddes said.
"You always have the thought you're there to try and make it through to the next team and I thought we played well."
Lambeth said the competition at the 16 and Under Hockey Championships was fierce, but it would only get more intense during their tour of Europe next year.
"There were a lot of good players there so it was a good feeling to know that you've been picked," he said.
"The other players that have been picked are red hot too, it's a good side so we will get the opportunity to learn from them as well.
"We know that hockey is huge in Europe and I think we will get a chance to watch a professional game while we're there too, which will be fun."
The 17-day tour will start in Amsterdam before the team moves to France, Belgium and Germany, where they will play a three-match tournament against other European schoolboy teams.
With the tour still another nine months away, Gaddes said there will be a lot of training and preparation ahead of the pair's biggest opportunity on the hockey field in their fledgling careers.
"It hasn't sunk in yet (that we will play for Australia) but I think once we get the gear we will be wearing and it gets a bit closer it will feel real," Gaddes said.