Youngsters gain state honours

GLADSTONE hockey duo Rachael Nicol and Kirsty Rach are celebrating after gaining state honours following last week's under-13 state hockey championships held in the harbour city.

Rachael was selected for the Queensland team, while Kirsty was rewarded with a Queensland Development Squad selection for her assured displays in defence.

Already a player with senior experience in the Sparks club, Rachael was in magnificent form for Gladstone at the week-long titles. She was the standout performer with a number of confident, consistent performances in defence as Gladstone scored just one win.

Rachael will now prepare along with her Queensland team-mates for the interstate invitational tournament to be played in Ipswich in September.

Meanwhile, Kirsty was named in an eight-member development squad for a training camp to be held in the next few months.

Usually a centre for her clubside Meteors, 12-year-old Kirsty was a star in the unfamilar position of fullback during Gladstone's championships campaign.

Even though the position was foreign to her, Kirsty impressed the selectors enough to be identified as a player of the future.

Her dad Stewart Rach who was also the Gladstone coach said both girls deserved their selection at state level.

'Rachael was fantastic and controlled matches as the week went on, she is a wonderful player,' Rach said.

'To be picked in the state squad is a fantastic reward for her.

'Kirsty also warranted her selection in the development squad, her form was dependable and under pressure she performed well.'

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