DETERMINATION: Nathan Cooke is the only Gladstone player to be selected in the Queensland School's team. Photo Nick Kossatch / Observer
DETERMINATION: Nathan Cooke is the only Gladstone player to be selected in the Queensland School's team. Photo Nick Kossatch / Observer NICK KOSSATCH

Cooke aces place on the state team

NATHAN'S FACTS

AGE: 17

STRENGTHS: Back hand and mental strength

SCHOOL: Gladstone State High

PART-TIME JOB: Assistant tennis coach

GLADSTONE tennis ace Nathan Cooke's greatest qualities came to the fore during trials for the secondary school's state team in Rockhampton on the weekend of March 12 and 13.

After nearly losing momentum in the opening set the 17 year old recovered to take out Gold Coast's Kade Birrell.

"I was just grinding away and waited for the opportunities and took them," Nathan said.

What happened next was typical when he recovered from a 4-6 deficit to overcome Kade to win the next two sets 7-5, 6-2.

The win has cemented Nathan as the only Gladstone player to make the Secondary Schools Under 19 Queensland team that will compete in the Secondary Schools National Titles in Albury, New South Wales from April 30 until May 7.

"I was absolutely stoked after I won and then made the team," Nathan said.

The Queensland side will play in Albury at the end of April in the national championship.

Coach Rob McBean has played a large part in Nathan's development.

"I started probably when I was seven or eight, and Rob McBean has taught me everything over the years," Nathan said.

Nathan had representative success two years ago.

"This is the first time I have been selected for a school Queensland team, but I made the actual state team in 2014," Nathan added.

Other than his mental strength, another aspect of his game is his backhand.

Nathan is looking to make the US college circuit.

"I need to train hard and keep doing what I'm doing," he said.

He also is an assistant coach under McBean and attends Gladstone State High.



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