Warrnambool and district hockey pair earn national team selection

TWO Warrnambool District Hockey Association players are bound for overseas competition after winning Australian Country team selection.

Cale Rout and Matt Huf claimed individual honours after successful campaigns with Victoria at Toowoomba last week.

They and Daniel Carlin, also from Warrnambool, were part of the men’s bronze-medal winning team at the national country championships. After missing a berth in the gold medal play off, they played out a 2-2 draw against an Australian Defence Force side, which was enough to secure them the bronze because of their higher-placed finished after the preliminary rounds.

Warrnambool’s Kirsty Rout also returned with a medal, being part of the women’s team that defeated Western Australia 2-1 for bronze.

Rout, 21, and Huf were both nominated for the under 21 Australian Country team that is bound for Fiji later this year. Huf, a defender, was named in the team while Rout was elevated into the open side that heads to Malaysia and Singapore in April next year.

Rout, who is studying exercise and sports science at Ballarat, was delighted with his week’s work.

“It was a bit of a shock,” he said of his selection.

“I thought I played well the first couple of games and tapered off toward the middle of the week and then stepped it up again in the finals.”

The striker said he was excited to win bronze and make the Country Australian side.

“I will definitely improve,” he said. “I hope I can make the side again next year.”

It was his second national championships tilt, having been part of a young side that finished last in 2013.

He said with only half of last year’s side returning, they did well to climb up the rankings.

Earlier this year, Rout played with the ACT at the national U21 championships after missing Victorian selection.

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