WARRNAMBOOL hockey player Jack White has helped Victoria to a bronze medal at School Sport Australia under 16 championships in Adelaide.
Jack, the only country member of the metropolitan-dominated squad, played four matches before a calf injury ruled him out of the rest of the tournament.
The Vics finished fourth after their six round-robin matches, defeating the Australian Capital Territory, drawing three times and losing twice.
But they clinched the bronze with a 1-0 win against Queensland in the third-place play-off on Saturday, a result which was unreflective of their dominance.
Coach Craig McBride said the side emerged with a sense of unfulfilment, having started the tournament with high hopes of claiming the title.
He rued a 4-3 defeat to Queensland on day two, having led 3-1, while draws with South Australia and Tasmania in the matches that followed were damaging.
A highlight was a 3-3 draw with eventual champion Western Australia. Victoria was the only side to take a point off the powerhouse throughout the week.
“I said to them after the Queensland game if they had taken their opportunities early in the week they could’ve been playing in the one-versus-two game,” McBride said.
“That’s probably what they deserved. But a tournament is a tournament. You have to win as many games as possible.”
McBride said Jack was competitive and showed signs of his potential early in the week.
He encouraged the Warrnambool College student to join a Melbourne-based Premier League club in coming years to further his development in the sport.
“He needs to go, if not next year then definitely the year after,” he said.