ORANGE’S Pete Shea is hoping to build a hockey dynasty after coaching NSW to the Australian under 21s women’s championship crown.
The championship in Perth came to a close last Saturday where NSW toppled Queensland 3-1 in the final.
Shea said coaching the side, which included Bathurst’s Jessica Watterson, to the national title was a highlight in his career.
“It was a lot of fun,” Shea said.
“It was a good group of kids. They were so talented and respectful and focused.”
Shea will be back with the NSW team in 2015 as he has a two-year contract as head coach and he’s already thinking of the side’s potential.
“We lose a few girls but NSW has got a lot of young players coming through. We’ve got the potential to build a dynasty,” he said.
NSW lay the foundations for that dynasty at this year’s championship.
The side had four training sessions before opening their championship account with a 9-0 thumping of ACT.
“The girls were full of energy and they seemed to click. They scored a few goals which was great,” Shea said.
“ACT ended up finishing third, so it showed the high standard of the NSW side. The level NSW played at was significantly higher than the other teams.”
NSW then accounted for Western Australia (4-0) and Tasmania (7-0).
Things didn’t go according to plan against Queensland and NSW suffered a 5-0 loss.
“We got thumped because of poor execution, and we lost the plot and our structure fell apart,” Shea explained.
“Credit to the girls, they picked themselves up and beat South Australia (2-1) and Victoria (6-0).”
The NSW girls met ACT in the semi-final and after a tight opening half, the scores were locked at 1-all.
NSW lifted in the second stanza to score a 4-1 win and kept their momentum going in the final against Queensland.
“They played their best game last,” Shea said.
“They played particularly well. The girls implemented the structures very well. They basically controlled most of the game. Queensland only had two or three shots on goal and one penalty corner all game.”
NSW scored the 3-1 win to claim the 2014 title.
Shea was the NSW assistant coach the previous two years when they won in 2012 and were runners-up last year.
The coach said he would enjoy this year’s victory before thinking about the 2015 championship.
“I’m not sure I want to go to Hobart for two weeks in the middle of July next year,” he laughed.
Orange’s Nick Hill was part of the NSW team that won the Australian under 21s men’s title on Saturday, beating Victoria 7-2 in the final