Ten Hockey Albury-Wodonga products have been selected to represent Victoria Country at the Australian Country Championships.
Hugh Cullen, Leigh Foulston, Jeremy Payne and Charley Wallace have been picked in the men’s side, while Samantha Campbell, Eryn Norie, Georgia McCormick, Eloise McCormick, Sam Daly and Jessie Nixon will feature in the women’s team after starring at this month’s Victorian Senior Country Championships.
It’s the second time Cullen has been named for Victoria Country, but it has been a long road back to the top.
“I’ve had a bit of a spell with injury and university commitments,” Cullen said.
“I did my ACL, but I thought I’d try get back in the swing of things and have another crack.
“I enjoyed it last time up in Toowoomba and this one is in Berri in South Australia.
“I’d love to try get back to the top level, but if I can’t, there’s always next year.
“Last time I played I got selected for Australia Country, but couldn’t commit to it because of the injury.
“It’s good to play at a quality level in a national competition.”
The Wodonga export has been picked as a striker.
Meanwhile, Campbell will line up as goalkeeper in the women’s team.
Campbell was selected for Australia Country to tour overseas last year and has been in excellent form for the Albury-Wodonga Spitfires in their return to the Capital League this season.
“I think we’ve been more competitive than I thought we were going to be, which is a bonus,” she said.
“I thought we’d have a hard year, but we’ve been surprised with how the young people have come up to that level.”
Campbell is looking forward to playing alongside a number of familiar faces.
“Sam Daly has been consistently selected and she’s generally the captain and Australian Country captain too,” Campbell said.
“Eloise McCormick is a new player into the side.
“That’s a real positive for her, she’s been training hard in terms of fitness and that really showed on country weekend.”
All players will meet in Bendigo for a training camp before travelling to Berri where the tournament runs from August 3 to 11.
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