VICTORIAN wheelchair rugby squad coach Bryce Alman believes Camperdown’s Josh Hose could represent Australia at the next two Paralympics.
Hose, 27, was in the south-west last week for the Wheelchair Rugby Hamilton Classic, competing for one of three Victorian teams.
His Victoria Cannons side lost to Queensland 35-26. Victoria Storm and Victoria Lightning also featured at the annual tournament.
The tournament marked the start of a busy few months for Hose, a gold medal-winner at the 2012 London Paralympics.
He will represent Australia at the Canada Cup next month, with world championships in August and national championships in October.
Alman, who oversaw the three Victorian sides, said Hose had been “one of the dominant players at national level” in recent years.
“He probably needs to get a bit more experience at international level, there is a big step-up,” he said.
“Hopefully he gets some court time in the Canada Cup and starts to be on an even keel when he’s on court for Australia.
“If he puts his mind to it and trains hard, he can be on the Australian team for another eight years.
“He’s already done one Paralympics and this will be his second world championships. I think it takes four or five years to feel comfortable.”
Hose said he was hopeful he could retain his spot in the Australian squad for world championships.
“I think with all the training that’s going ahead now, I’m somewhat confident I’ll be able to hold my spot,” he said.
Hose was also pleased to be back in the south-west. He addressed Cobden footballers and netballers last Thursday before competing at Hamilton.
“It’s been at least three or four years now I’ve been going (to Hamilton), it’s an annual thing. The crowd and community really get behind it,” he said.
The Hamilton Classic gave the three competing states — Victoria, Queensland and South Australia — a chance to prepare for national championships.
Alman was encouraged by the efforts from the Victorians, who will be one of the favourites for title glory.
“We broke the Victorian players up into three teams from a development point of view. We weren’t by any means near full strength,” he said.
“We were all about giving everybody court time until nationals in October.
“We’ve got a long lead in so we wanted to give as many people court time at a higher level as possible and see how we went.”
The Hamilton Classic was organised by Melbourne-based organisation Disability Sport and Recreation.
For information about their wheelchair rugby programs, visit www.dsr.org.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org