MANNING hockey players Holli Wheeler and Ashleigh Alcorn have been named in the Australian Country Women's hockey team to tour Malaysia next March.
This follows the Australian Country Championships held in Toowoomba. They were members of the NSW side beaten by Queensland 4-1 in the final. This was Alcorn's first appearance for NSW while Wheeler has been a member of the team for the past four years.
NSW was going for its eighth successive championship. The Blues beat Queensland 3-2 in the last pool game, with Alcorn scoring the game breaker seconds before fulltime. However, the Queenslanders dominated the final.
"We had nine or 10 new players in the squad this year, so it was an awesome effort to make the final,'' Wheeler said.
She has been in the Australian team for the past four years including the side that toured New Zealand last March. Wheeler expects to play in the midfield when the team tours, with Alcorn up front.
"I was so stoked for Ash, she's put in so much hard work,'' Wheeler added.
While the details of the tour are still being finalised it appears the Australians will play a series against the Malaysian national team while Thailand and Indonesia have also expressed interest.
Alcorn and Wheeler play for Tigers in the Manning division one competition while Wheeler also turns out for Regals in the Newcastle Premier League.
Wheeler and Alcorn's selection in the Australian team caps a big few weeks for the Tigers club.
Tony Lewis, the long serving coach of the club's A-grade men and women's team, guided NSW over 45 women to success in the Ausralian masters championships played in Darwin for the second successive year.
He was later named assistant coach of the Australian 45s side for a Trans Tasman series against New Zealand in Melbourne next year along with the World Cup to be played at a venue to be determined.
Katrina Hayes was a member of the NSW 50s women's team that won the masters title in Darwin.