Under-19s Queensland hockey rep Mitch Inwood was part of the team winning six games from nine in NZ.
Under-19s Queensland hockey rep Mitch Inwood was part of the team winning six games from nine in NZ. File

Inwood keen to better his hockey

A TWO-week visit to the Land of the Long White Cloud has given a local sportsman an appreciation of the country, its people and his chosen sport.

Mitch Inwood toured New Zealand with the Under-19s Queensland Secondary Schoolboys hockey team, which exceeded expectations on what is notoriously a gruelling trip bearing little fruit on the scoreboard.

From September 27 until October 9, the team visited cities across New Zealand and played representative teams including Wellington, Auckland and Hamilton.

Playing as either full-back or right back, Inwood enjoyed six wins from nine games, this result an exceptional one as in the past the Queensland team had little success on the tour.

Inwood, who is also a handy cricketer, said the hockey was a slightly physical brand, however the games were played in very good spirit.

“The standard of hockey was much better than I expected it to be,” Inwood said.

The pick of the wins, Inwood felt, was the first-up victory over the NZ Tiger Turf side, a development squad which usually troubles the tourists.

“We won our first game against them, and lost the second two, but they’ve had easy wins over us in the past,” Inwood said, adding the coach of the schoolboys team, Kyle Catalano, was thrilled with how the side performed in New Zealand.

“It was a great trip, the people and the country were fantastic,” Inwood said.

Apart from the hockey victories, a highlight of the tour for Inwood was the New Zealand scenery and green landscapes.

Inwood was chosen for the Queensland Secondary Schoolboys team after a solid state championships earlier this year in Townsville.

“It was a big surprise to be picked for the team, but it was really good to get in there,” he said.

“I think I played pretty well (in NZ), and the guys I played with were a good bunch of blokes.

“In the end I became good mates with a lot of them.”

Inwood is hoping to make the Queensland open team next year to embark on another New Zealand tour.



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