Manning hockey's Lara Watts in State under 15 side

THE hockey season never really ends for Moorland’s Lara Watts.

Lara heads to Moorebank in Sydney next month with the NSW under 15s side for the Australian championships. She was selected following a lengthy process that culminated in three day City/Country trials played in Bathurst a fortnight ago.

Lara had a three week break from training just before Christmas, resuming in early January as she prepared for the State selection trials. That’s about the only time she’s had off since the start of last year.

Lara is the Manning River Times Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana.

Lara, along with fellow Manning player Bree Pensini, was a member of the NSW under 13 side that won the Australian championship two years ago. This was first past the post, with NSW clinching the crown when beating the NSW Blues in the final game. (Bree will play for the NSW Blues at Moorebank).

Lara said there’s a few players from the 2015 squad in the team for next month’s national titles, where NSW and Queensland will be the favoured two teams. Lara heads to Sydney this weekend for a training session with the NSW team, where she hopes to play in the defensive midfield position.

She said she was ‘pretty confident’ of making the team following the City/Country series.

Lara was a member of a youthful NSW Blues No 2 team in last year’s national under 15 championships, the side finishing a credible fifth.

However, the national titles will be just part of Lara’s seemingly never-ending hockey program.

She’ll play with Town in the Manning women’s division two competition starting later this month. She’ll turn out for Sharks in the junior grade.

Lara will mix this with school hockey commitments. A member of Taree High’s open side, Lara is also in the Hunter Combined High Schools representative team.

Last year Hunter were the State CHS champions and are tipped to be among the front runners again in 2017.

Lara will also be vying for selection in the NSW Combined High Schools team. If successful she’ll be aiming to earn a spot in the Australian All Schools team later in the year. Lara is also a member of the Centre of Development (COP) squad and this further eats into her spare time.

However, Lara assures the amount of time she either spends playing or training for hockey hasn’t dimmed her enthusiasm for the sport.

In fact Lara also manages to fit in a bit of football.

Last winter she was a member of the Moorland under 14 side that won the Southern premiership.

Lara was named player of the match in the grand final victory.

This week's sportstar award winner, State under 15 hockey representative Lara Watts, with Kynan Groundwater from award sponsor, Iguana.

This week's sportstar award winner, State under 15 hockey representative Lara Watts, with Kynan Groundwater from award sponsor, Iguana.