ORANGE’S Alex Said will face international opponents when the Australian Country men’s hockey side starts its tour today.
The side, coached by Orange’s Rob Laffin, left for Thailand on Sunday and will play a role in the Asian Hockey Federation Cup this week.
Nine teams are contesting the Men’s AHF, with five in pool A and four in pool B.
The Australian Country team will play Tests against the five pool A teams when they have the bye.
This means they will take on Oman, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Laffin was excited about this.
“That should be great,” Laffin smiled.
After this the side will go to Malaysia where they will take on Malaysia 21s.
“They’re using these games as a warm-up for a tournament,” Laffin explained.
“We’ll also play the Kuala Lumpur state side.”
The Australian Country side was selected following the 2011 Australian Country Championships in South Australia where Queensland came out on top and NSW were runners-up.
Said was selected in the men’s side and fellow Orange player Tim Eslick earned a place in the under 21 men’s team.
The 21s team has since contested the 2011 Oceania Cup but the open men’s side hasn’t been together since their selection in August last year.
“We haven’t trained yet. We’ve had a few withdrawals so there are a few new faces in the side,” Laffin explained.
“We’ll train Tuesday and then start playing either Tuesday night or Wednesday.”
The Australian Country side will return to Australia on April 29.