GAINING selection in the NSW under 14 girl’s merit touch football team could be Tilley Hunter’s farewell to the game.
Tilley, from Tinonee, was named in the squad from the recent NSW Regional Championships played in Penrith. Tilley was a member of the Northern Eagles under 14 side 3-2 beaten in the grand final by Sydney Scorpions. The disappointment of the loss in the decider was offset somewhat for Tilley when she was informed of her selection in the State merit team.
Tilley is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana. She was nominated by Taree Touch Association.
Northern Eagles defeated the Scorpions 4-3 in the preliminary round. Tilley played link and was pleased with her form throughout the championship.
“I don't have a lot of confidence in myself,’’ she admitted.
“And sometimes I get a bit frustrated. But I held it together pretty well in all the matches, so I was happy with that.’’
Merit sides don’t play matches and Tilley concedes she’s a bit disappointed not to wear the sky blue.
“It would have been fun to have had a game. It would have been a chance to meet other people,’’ she said.
Tilley was a member of the Taree touch side that played in the State Cup in February along with the Northern Eagles Junior Championships in Taree in January. It was from these two tournaments selectors named the Eagles teams for the State regionals.
However, Tilley doesn’t think she’ll be playing touch for much longer – at least not at representative level.
She said hockey will be taking the No 1 preference.
Tilley’s already represented NSW at hockey, heading to Perth last year for the Australian under 13 championships, playing with the Stars team. A striker, Tilley said hockey has been her favoured sport since she started playing in the Manning junior grades.
She now plays for Sharks in the juniors and fills in for Town in the Manning women’s competition and is enjoying the challenge of playing in the older division.
Later this month Tilley will head to Grafton for the NSW under 15 championships as a member of the Manning Valley side. From there she’ll be hoping to again impress State selectors.
So club and representative hockey is now going to take up much of Tilley’s spare time. Touch footy is in recess until the warmer months in Taree.
However, even when touch does start up again, Tilley confirmed she won’t be spending as much time on the field as she did in the last few months.
Tilley’s at a bit of a loss to explain why she rates hockey higher than touch.
“They’re both good games, but I like hockey more,’’ she said.
Tilley attends St Clare’s High School at Taree.