ANNIE Pakinga is one of five Orange women who will be involved in this week’s Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championships.
Pakinga will line up in the NSW over 35s side to play for the Australian title in Adelaide.
Deb Orrock is making a comeback to the representative fray after eight years away, playing for the NSW over 55s.
She will be coached by Orange’s Lindl Taylor, and Jane Rowlands in the NSW over 60s manager.
Another Orange player, Alex Murray, was selected as a shadow player for the NSW 35s, but has since been picked up for the ACT 35s team.
Renee Burrell was also selected as a shadow player for the NSW over 40s.
The NSW ladies fly out to Adelaide today before the national event starts with the opening ceremony on Thursday.
Pakinga said nerves were starting to kick in last week.
This is the 38-year-old’s third year playing for NSW in the over 35s, and even though she’s been there before, she was shocked by her selection.
“I didn’t expect to get picked again, especially because there are a lot of new players in the 35s this year,” Pakinga explained.
“We’ve got a new coach this year. He was the 40s coach last year, so he has new ideas and structures.”
The 35s are yet to train together and have instead been working through their individual training programs set down by the coach.
They will train together this week before their first game on Friday.
There are high expectations on the NSW 35s as they took out the national title in 2011 before finishing third last year.
Pakinga said the coach has set down a goal for them this year, but they were keeping it to themselves.
She said she was confident with the team that has been selected.
“The team does look strong from what I’ve seen,” she said.
Pakinga will find out exactly where she will play at training this week, but is expected to line up at striker or as an attacking mid-fielder.
The Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championships will be held in Adelaide from September 27 to October 5.