Hockey stars ready to hit the national stage

BOUND FOR NATIONALS: Bendigo's hockey stars in the Victoria Country squads at Hockey Central Victoria headquarters in Ironbark. Back: Zach Lahn, Toby Anderson, Jarrod Lougoon and Tracey Johnson. Front: Craig Conn, Jade Deppeler and Caroline Arden. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

BOUND FOR NATIONALS: Bendigo's hockey stars in the Victoria Country squads at Hockey Central Victoria headquarters in Ironbark. Back: Zach Lahn, Toby Anderson, Jarrod Lougoon and Tracey Johnson. Front: Craig Conn, Jade Deppeler and Caroline Arden. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

NINE Bendigo hockey players impressed selectors at the Victorian Country Championship and have been named to compete at nationals. 

Four men's players and five women will suit up for the country Victoria team at the Country National Championships held in Toowoomba. 

Toby Anderson, Craig Conn, Zach Lahn and Jarrod Lougoon will play in the men's competition.

Caroline Arden, Jade Deppeler. Kate Shallard, Maddy White and Tracey Johnson have been selected in the women's competition. 

In total, 33 players from across the state were selected for the week-long championships.

Lougoon, who took part in the tournament last year, said he was looking forward to competing against some of the best hockey players from across the country. 

He said there were a lot of talented hockey players in Bendigo. 

Lougoon said last year the men's country Victorian team finished in last spot and the women came in third. 

"Our main goal is to win a few more games than last year," he said. 

Over the Queen's Birthday weekend, Hockey Central Victoria sent a team to the state championships. 

The players from Bendigo played against teams from Albury, Geelong, Ballarat and the Goulburn Valley. 

Lougoon said the men's team finished fourth and the women's team won the competition.

The men's country Victorian side will train at the Bendigo Hockey Centre in Ashley Street off Eaglehawk Road in Ironbark on July 6. The team will only train together twice before the major event.

Lougoon said the team would fly to Queensland a few days before the event so the players could gel together ahead of the round-robin styled tournament. 

The national country hockey championships will run from August 2 to 9 at Clyde Park in Toowoomba. 

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