IT’S hard to tell what Madie Smith is more excited about - representing Australia or learning the tango.
Today she heads to Sydney to join the Australian School Girls 16 Years and Under Hockey team to tour New Zealand and Argentina.
Smith was selected in the Australian team after helping NSW to the national schools title in August last year.
Last month her Australian uniform arrived and tomorrow she and the rest of the team fly out to New Zealand.
“I’m very nervous but excited to play for my country,” she beamed.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the new girls too. There are 10 girls from our NSW side in the team and only four girls from other states.
“I think the cultural side of the trip will be interesting.”
The team will fly to New Zealand tomorrow and play games against national teams on Saturday and Sunday.
On Monday they go to Argentina where they get to enjoy some sight-seeing before playing four games of hockey.”
“We have to learn to do the tango. I’m excited for that,” Smith said.
The 16-year-old knows it won’t be an easy two weeks.
She expects to be tested on the hockey field.
“I expect the teams will be good because they’re national sides we’re playing,” she said.
“Argentina should be really good because it’s a big hockey place. We need to step up.
“I’m hoping to play my best hockey over there.”
The fullback has not had an off-season as she has been training with Kinross-CYMS coach Pete Shea to make sure she is ready for the tour.
They started out doing fitness sessions, which have paid off.
Last week Smith attended a NSW Institute of Sport Emerging Talent Squad (ETS) camp where she recorded 11.11 on the beep test.
In recent weeks she and Shea have been working on hockey skills to make sure Smith’s ready for the trip.
Before Smith got too excited about her adventure, she had one more thing she had to do last night.
“I haven’t packed a bag yet,” she laughed.
Smith thanked CYMS Hockey Club and Michelle Wright for helping her raise the money for the tour.