GALLERY: National Masters hockey coach seeks gold

FORMER Warrnambool hockey player Phil Frost believes a top-three finish is within reach of his World Cup-bound Australian over-50s side.

Frost was yesterday upbeat about the Australians’ prospects at the second 2014 FIH Masters’ World Cup in Rotterdam in June.

The well-regarded coach, who lives in Geelong, returned to his home town on the weekend as part of a camp with the WestVic senior women’s squad.

Frost and members of the WestVic squad also ran clinics for Warrnambool and District Hockey Association junior academy members.

But the chance to represent Australia on the international stage was in the back of his mind, with the countdown to Rotterdam under way.

“We’ll fare pretty well. We are the current Trans-Tasman champions. We beat New Zealand in May last year,” he said.

“We should be top three (at the World Cup), we’re hoping to bring home a gold medal.

“The Dutch will be very strong. It’s the first time they’ve been involved in the World Cup.”

Frost, who is coaching the WestVic women’s side for the first time, said the camp had been beneficial in helping unite the side.

He said outfield players ranged from 16 to 36 and included Warrnambool young gun Bonnie Arnel.

“It’s something new. The girls haven’t done this before. It’s to get them bonding with each other, to break down the barriers,” he said.

“They car-pooled down. We had two days in a row of fitness and agility and training in a different environment to their own.

“We had a session down at the beach last night as well. It took them out of their comfort zone.

“This is the first time I’ve coached this side and they’ve already improved tenfold to where they were.”

Frost was also impressed with the young talent in the WDHA. Players at the clinics on Saturday and Sunday ranged from under 11s to under 17s.

“There are some kids that are going to be pretty big superstars in the future,” he said.

“As I said to them, and what I said to my girls who passed it on, is if they learn one thing from us it is they are going to improve.”

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