WARRNAMBOOL hockey’s rising stars Matt Huf and Cale Rout say their selection in the Victoria side for the Australian Country Championships will be a chance to improve on last year.
Huf and Rout will represent Victoria for the second consecutive year in the 11-man squad for the championships, which will be held in Toowoomba in August.
They will be joined by another Warrnambool player, Daniel Carlin, who was named in the team for the first time while Ben Huf was named in the junior development squad
Their selection was confirmed at the weekend’s Country Championships in Melbourne, where Warrnambool had a breakthrough grand final victory in men’s division one.
The Warrnambool trio’s performances impressed selectors, who watched each game at the country championships before deciding on the final side.
Huf and Rout were part of the Victorian side last year and Huf said he was looking forward to playing alongside his friend Carlin at this year’s tournament.
Last year the team finished in last position, losing every game by slim margins.
Huf said the selection topped a great weekend and he looked forward to taking to the field with Rout and Carlin.
“It’s going to be a good chance to improve on last year,” he said.
“I’ve played with Cael all the time and spent a bit of game time with Daniel, so it will be good to have them there. I know the way they play.”
Rout said he hoped having a core group of players who had played at last year’s National Championships would be advantageous.
“Last year it was a fairly inexperienced side,” he said.
“This year we have mostly the same team and we’ve all played together in Melbourne, so hopefully we will be able to gel a lot quicker.
“Last year we came close to winning games, so hopefully this year we can get some wins on the board. Teams like Western Australia and New South Wales will be tough, but I think we will be competitive.”