Orange pair lead the charge for the baby Blues at national championships

BABY BLUES: Eva Reith-Snare (left) and Bailey Ferguson gear up for the national hockey championships in October. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0804sghockey1

BABY BLUES: Eva Reith-Snare (left) and Bailey Ferguson gear up for the national hockey championships in October. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0804sghockey1

HAVING been teammates for virtually their entire hockey lives, Bailey Ferguson and Eva Reith-Snare know each others game pretty well.

And while both Confederates juniors know their next hockey assignments - the boys’ and girls’ Hockey Australia Under 13s National Championships respectively - will pose each with the toughest hockey they’ve ever faced, the lively duo know they both have the skills to handle the challenge.

“I hope so,” Ferguson said, now in his second year in the NSW boys’ under 13s side.

“It’s a lot tougher, the quality of players is much higher ... the standard, the speed of the play is just a lot higher.”

“It’ll be very different,” Reith-Snare added, 2014 being her first state gig.

“I think it will be harder, there will be more skill ... but I think I played alright at the state championships.”

Reith-Snare earned a place in the NSW girls’ side after helping Orange to third in the NSW Field State Championships in Orange.

Also with Orange, Ferguson did likewise in Grafton.

And, a year on from finishing third with NSW at the highest level, the 13-year-old performed well enough to earn another crack at national championship glory with the Blues in 2014.

Ferguson said his side’s toughest games will be against traditional hockey performers.

“Probably Queensland ... Queensland or Victoria,” Ferguson said, with the Vics taking home gold in the under 13s age group last season.

Reith-Snare added the NSW girls will “most probably” find both Queensland and Victoria tough as well.

Both Reith-Snare and Ferguson say their selection in the side is a credit to Western Region coaching coordinator, Kate Pulbrook.

The national championships will be held from October 4 to 11, with the boys’ event in Adelaide and the girls’ in Brisbane. 

In a boost for the junior championships, both will be run in conjunction with the National Hockey League, the men aligning with the boys’ national championship and the girls’ doing the same with the women’s ANL competition.

The pair will also be holding a trivia night on September 20 to raise funds for their trips.

For more information contact Karen Ferguson (0467 691 031) or Fiona Reith (0448 053 783).

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