ST HELENS hockey stalwart Anna Dyson makes her Victorian debut when she contests the Australian masters’ hockey championships.
Dyson, 43, will line up as an under-age player in the Victorian women’s over 45s squad for the annual tournament in Adelaide, starting tomorrow.
The mother-of-three last trialled for a state squad when she was “19 or 20”, without luck, but has finally earned selection more than two decades on.
She is one of five Warrnambool District Hockey Association players who will represent the state at the masters’ championships.
Dyson said she decided to trial for state selection last year, when her friend Terri Burke earned a berth in the Victorian over 35s squad.
Having played alongside Burke in Warrnambool representative sides, Dyson was confident she could emulate the feat.
“We’ve had nine training sessions in Melbourne. It’s been pretty full on,” she said.
“I’m lucky I’ve got a friend to stay with and my husband has been fantastic. He knows it was something I have been desperate to do.”
Dyson described her selection as “a huge learning curve”.
“There are only two of us this year who have never played state before,” she said.
“The girls have pretty high expectations. They expect to bring home gold and there will be pretty much no excuses, which is a bit daunting. But we’ve got a fantastic team. Everyone has been fabulous. There’s a really good feeling going away.”
Dyson said the experienced had made her want to earn selection again in future years.
“They look at it year by year, but I know if I play well they know what sort of player I am,” she said.
Burke has again earned selection and will line up with the Victorian women’s over 35s.
Other WDHA players bound for Adelaide include Kym Rowe in the women’s over 40s and Jacqui Anderton in the women’s over 50s.
Chris Thompson is part of the men’s over 60s side, which has started its nationals campaign at Sydney.
Thompson has helped the Vics to a 1-1 record after two matches — a 6-1 loss to Western Australia on Monday and a 4-0 win against South Australia on Tuesday.
He has come off the bench both times and netted the third goal against the Croweaters.
Victoria takes on ACT today.