Hockey: Maddie Drewitt, Bayden Smith and Luke Merrill selected in NSW under-15 teams

Bayden Smith, Luke Merrill and Maddie Drewitt have been selected in the NSW under-15 hockey teams. Photo: Paul Jobber
Bayden Smith, Luke Merrill and Maddie Drewitt have been selected in the NSW under-15 hockey teams. Photo: Paul Jobber

THE selection in another representative hockey team is further indication that Tacking Point Thunder teenager Maddie Drewitt has the world at her feet.

Drewitt has been selected in the New South Wales under-15 side for the national championships at Narellan next month.

After previously being named in the under-13 indoor and outdoor state teams as well as the under-15 outdoor squads, it still came as a surprise to her.

"I made it last year so had an idea of where I was at, but it my expectations get a bit higher the more games I play," she said.

The Tacking Point Thunder attacker admitted she needed to continue to improve to be selected in representative teams.

"Fitness wise I've improved, I'm learning new things including new styles of game play and you always are surprised to make the team."

Drewitt's clubmate Bayden Smith has also become a regular name on state selectors' team sheets.

He will line up alongside Luke Merrill in the Blues (or emerging talent) team.

It will be Smith's fourth representative team following selection in the under-13 outdoor team (twice) along with under-13 indoor team.

"It will make me a lot better because playing against my own age will be good," he said.

Smith admitted he had become accustomed to the physical nature of the sport as he progressed through the ranks.

"The biggest change is physicality and people have gotten a lot bigger and stronger faster so it's a challenge," he said.

"But I played men's league last year so that helped stay strong on the ball."

State honours: Maddie Drewitt, Bayden Smith and Luke Merrill.

State honours: Maddie Drewitt, Bayden Smith and Luke Merrill.

Merrill is excited to be playing in his first representative team, but also nervous.

"It's something I wanted to get into," he said.

"It's going to be a good experience playing other players and it's going to be a lot harder than normal.

The attacking midfielder has played locally for Camden Haven for the last three or four years.

"I started playing because my mates did, but they haven't made a rep team."

Hockey NSW regional coaching coordinator Leigh McIntosh said the trio's selection had been after a drawn-out process lasting almost 12 months.

It had also required regular 6am training sessions throughout both winter and summer.

"Maddie's overall ability is really what got her in the team," McIntosh said.

"She's one of the strongest players in that under-15 cohort and will be used as a centre midfielder at the nationals."

McIntosh indicated Smith would also be used in the midfield in his team due to his strong ball distribution skills.

He was most pleased by Merrill's selection in the team after he missed out last year.

"He's quiet by nature so often tends to be overlooked in these sorts of teams, so it's great he's finally made it," McIntosh said.

"He's worked a lot more on when to give the pass and when not to.

"Now he's made the team, I think it could be the start for him."​

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