BORDER hockey star Nan Latta will captain Australia at next year’s over-40s World Cup.
The prolific goal scorer was selected at the end of last week’s Masters Games in Adelaide where more than 100 of the nation’s best trialled for the quadrennial tournament.
Latta, a striker, is normally one of the last names read out in representative squads.
“Thankfully they announced it midway through the team list and then to cap it all off I was one of the captains,” she said.
“I had no idea that I was even being considered for that role.
“It was a huge shock but a great honour.
“In a strange way it is harder to get into the over-40s team than the over 35s — in the younger group a lot of the women have young families and can’t afford the time or commitment — by 40 the kids are older and they come back to hockey.”
Latta, who set a new personal benchmark for goal scoring in the Albury-Wodonga Strikers’ stellar year in Victorian State League, has no idea what to expect when she gets to Rotterdam next June.
“We look to have a strong team on paper but I’m told the standard is extremely high,” she said.
“It is fast hockey but also smart hockey, where tactics play a huge part in the games.
“I’ve never played at this level before — World Cups only come around once every four years.
“But you would expect the Dutch, on home soil, the Germans and Argentinians will all have very strong teams.”
Latta expects it will be a low-key build up to the World Cup.
“We will train individually in the lead-up and generally come together a week before we leave for the tournament,” she said.
“Hopefully that will be enough to see us competitive among the elite nations.”
Latta, who was a mentor to the premiership winning Strikers and their largely teenage squad, said she will enjoy being the “baby” of the side.
“I will still be 39 when we leave and turn 40 at the start of the tournament,” she said.