KYME Rowe was “absolutely thrilled and absolutely ecstatic” to walk out and take her place on the field as she was announced as a shadow player in the national over 45 masters hockey team.
Rowe and her Warrnambool teammate Therese Burke were fresh off a fourth-placing with Victoria’s over 40s side at the women’s national championships when the announcement was made.
As a ‘shadow’ or reserves player, Rowe will be waiting in the wings to step in if needed as Australia takes on New Zealand in the Trans-Tasman Challenge in May next year.
“It was phenomenal – it was very surreal to start because I didn’t think I would ever get to that point,” she said.
Rowe also played for Hawthorn in Hockey Victoria pennant A competition this year in a bid to improve her chances of earning a spot on the Australian team.
The commitment paid off, with her form peaking in finals and giving her a strong foundation heading into the Australian championships.
“Now I just need to keep building on it, just need to go to a whole new level of fitness now and a whole new level of skill,” she said.
Her form was strong despite suffering a couple of painful injuries during the tournament.
In game three, she split the underside of the middle finger on her right hand when she copped a knock from a stick, while a knee injury in the next game made the going tough for the remainder of the competition.
“I just had to manage that (finger) … (but) it’s quite a formidable finger to take out,” Rowe said.
“The knee was the worst bit. It takes out my running ability.”
But with no structural damage to the knee, Rowe was hopeful of a swift recovery.
The Victorian team drew its first two games in the round robin stage of the tournament against New Zealand and Western Australia, with Rowe scoring a goal in the latter contest.
They broke through for a win in game three, defeating ACT 3-2, before a shock 2-0 loss to Tasmania.
Victoria bounced back to beat Queensland 1-0, booking a spot in the semi-final.
Playing Queensland again, they lost 1-0, before the battered and bruised Victorian team – with injuries to a host of its core players – went down to New South Wales 2-0 in the bronze medal match.
Another Warrnambool representative lined up at the women’s championships, with Anna Dyson part of the bronze medal-winning over 45 team.
They finished second in their pool and ended up facing Queensland in the bronze medal match, with a 2-2 tie at full time giving the Victorians the win courtesy of their higher ranking after the round robin stage.