Inners short list for Dream Team

INNERS in hockey have traditionally been the links between the strikers and the halves.

They have a defensive role in marking their opposing inners, especially the left inner, who has  to defend well into the circle, with the right inner looking for an outlet pass on the edge to start a counter attack.

The short list of inners contains four brilliant players who have etched their names in state teams over a period of time.

Michael Russ: In 1978, he joined Peter Herden as a state under-15 representative. His longevity in the game continues, with continual selection in state veterans over-40 and over-45 teams, showing his versatility and durability on all hockey surfaces.

David Dart: One of the most prolific goal scorers in Grafton hockey, and a coach of outstanding quality. He has played with a number of Grafton clubs but Bears is now his beloved club, where he brings on the  junior talent. Represented NSW Country and New South Wales over-40s.

Robbie Green: One of the great NSW Waratahs NHL players. Reputedly as fast as Australian sprinter Matt Shirvington over 50 metres. Regarded by many as a player who should have made the Kookaburras. Started his state career in 1993 with 13s and made all junior age group state teams from 13s-18s. In 2006 won the Brian Booth Medal for the best player in the Sydney premier league. Still a member of the NHL NSW Waratahs. A state player for more than 20 years. Travelled the world playing hockey in many countries. Captained Grafton in 2009 to its NSW Open title win.

Rhys Henwood: The Royals forward started his representative career in 2004 with selection in the NSW Waratahs under-13s. He was a standout player when Grafton under-15s won the state title in 2006. He represented NSWCHS in 2008. His latest achievement was selection in the NSW Country Opens.

Those who just missed the list were John Ninness and Ben Burris.

Next week: The strikers.

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