Blues veterans: Representing NSW at the national veteran hockey championships are, back row-from left, Janis Hutton, Julie McFadden, Chris Eather, Sue Hunter, Alison Porter; front row-from left: Helen Jarvie, Janelle Pitman, Wendy Trudgeon, Gloria McPherson, Sue Miller and Kerry Humphries.
Blues veterans: Representing NSW at the national veteran hockey championships are, back row-from left, Janis Hutton, Julie McFadden, Chris Eather, Sue Hunter, Alison Porter; front row-from left: Helen Jarvie, Janelle Pitman, Wendy Trudgeon, Gloria McPherson, Sue Miller and Kerry Humphries.

Hockey veterans to don the Blues

AS most hockey players contemplate impending grand finals and the season that was, it's about to get a whole lot busier on the astro-turf for a group of veterans from the Far North Coast.

The group will be soon be winging their way to Canberra to compete for NSW in their respective age divisions at the annual 2010 National Veterans Hockey Championships.

These will be played on October 1-9.

The players were selected at the trials held in Newcastle in August.

Gloria McPherson, Janis Hutton, Chris Eather, Sue Miller and Tracy Bradford have represented NSW on numerous occasions and they will be there again in Canberra.

While Janelle Pitman, Nikki Campbell and Helen Jarvie are returning for their second tournament.

And for Jarvie, a member of the Australian Over-40s team for the past three years, has she been named vice-captain of the NSW Over-40s team.

“It's such a great experience to be playing hockey at this level with the State's best and it gives our more senior players an ongoing development path. You're never too old to learn,” she said.

McPherson and Hutton were both recognised by Hockey NSW in 2006 for achieving 100 NSW caps at national veterans' championships.

Playing with the NSW Over-60s in 2010, McPherson has now been selected in every age group for NSW State veterans teams, often as captain or vice-captain.

First selected for the NSW Over-35s team in 1986, she has competed for NSW almost every year since with only three exceptions – in 1989 a pilot strike led to the championship not being held; in 1990 she was selected as a shadow player; and in 1991 family events took precedence.

“You make great friendships along the way”, McPherson said.

“It's these friendships that keep me coming back year after year.”

The four newcomers to state representation, Alison Porter, Julie McFadden, Kerry Humphries and Sue Hunter, are all very excited to have been selected.

“It's hard to know what to expect, but we're up to the challenge and I think we'll get a lot out of it,” Porter said.

This year will also be the first time FNC is represented in a coaching capacity at the national championships, with Wendy Trudgeon taking on the role of NSW Over-60s coach.

Trudgeon, president of FNC Women's Hockey, is a stalwart of the local hockey community and has represented NSW at numerous national veterans' championships.

NSW has teams competing in Over-35s, Over-40s, Over-45s, Over-50s, Over-55s and Over-60s divisions.



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