Sophie striving for gold in Fiji
EAST Lismore hockey player Sophie Rodda will have her work cut out when she captains the Australian Country Under-21 team for the first time in the Oceania Pacific Cup in Fiji next month.
The 19-year-old has been named co-captain and will look to guide the women's team to a second consecutive gold medal.
"I'm pretty proud to be captain and it all came as a bit of a shock," Rodda said.
"It will be a bit of extra pressure, but there are two other co-captains.
"We'll just look to be a bit of a leadership group and not put any pressure on the other girls."
Rodda was vice-captain and played a pivotal role at centre-half in the 3-1 victory over New Zealand Maori in the gold medal match last year.
The team will come together two days before the competition begins to train and acclimatise.
"We don't have much time and I've had to do my own individual training to prepare," Rodda said.
"I'm lucky to have my coach Petria Colby and her daughter Brooke help me train a couple of mornings and afternoons a week.
"I also play Touch and Oztag and go to the gym."
Northern Star A-grade players Matthew Harmon and Sam McPherson are in the men's Australian Country Under-21 team.
Harmon played striker in the team that defeated Papua New Guinea 2-1 in the bronze medal match last year.
The teams will leave on November 30.