SHOALHAVEN Heads hockey sensation Kyah Gray has continued her assault on the field hockey world after she was selected to play for the NSW Arrows.
Gray, 19, was picked to train with the 35-strong NSW open womens field hockey squad in June and was selected as one of the shadow players.
The Australian Hockey League (AHL) tournament hits off today and originally Gray was not chosen to attend.
But an injury to Hockeyroo and Arrows player Kate Jenner meant Gray was selected to step up and take her spot in the defence.
Although Gray said it was never nice for a squad member to get injured, she was honoured to get the call-up last week.
“I was just so excited. I couldn’t stop smiling,” she said.
“My sister and her husband were down and we were having lunch when I found out. We were celebrating the fact that they were down and then I got the call and we celebrated that as well, so it was really nice.”
Gray travelled to Hobart with the team on Wednesday for the 10-day tournament which starts today.
The NSW Arrows will come up against seven other teams from around Australia in a bid to take out national glory.
Although the NSW team is littered with Hockeyroos, Gray said she was most excited to play with Illawarra Hockeyroo Casey Eastham.
“She played all her hockey on the South Coast and is good friends with my brother. I have watched her from when I was little and have heard all the great things she has been doing so I’m really happy to be playing with her,” Gray said.
The NSW opens team selection was the highlight of Gray’s field hockey career.
“I am absolutely thrilled. It is an amazing opportunity,” she gushed.
“I think playing in the tournament and the standard of players who are going to be there will be great. As well as all the coaching, and learning from the older girls and having the opportunity to play with them. I have never played in a team of such high standard before.”
The tournament will take on a different format than previous years, with the states and territories divided into two pools before the finals.
Gray said she would love for NSW to make the finals, but is happy to just play at such a high level.
“I just like to play well and step up to the AHL tournament and learn as much as I can,” she said.
It was been a big year for the newly graduated Bomaderry High School student.
In August Gray was named on the Australian open women’s indoor hockey team which will travel to Europe in January 2014 as a part of the team’s preparation for the 2015 Indoor World Cup.
She is also just weeks away from her final HSC exams, where she hopes to get high enough marks to study veterinary science at Sydney University.