For two months, the Eastern Southland Festival hockey team has been training hard.
Coach Martin Mackereth said the team would head to Christchurch on Saturday to compete in a three-day tournament comprising teams from throughout the South Island.
“They have been working really hard,” Mackereth said of his players.
The team was made up of boys from division three teams.
“They are all between 10 and 13.”
Because a lot of the boys were in other representative teams it took a while to co-ordinate a time that suited everyone.
“The first time they played as a team was at a warm-up game in Invercargill.”
Since the team was formed players had worked really well altogether, Mackereth said.
“They are really good at backing each other up.
“Some teams are really quiet on the field and don’t talk at all but these guys are really good at talking to each other and letting each other know where they are.”
The coach of the Otago representative team asked them how they had become so good in such a short space of time, Mackereth said.
“We formed later than most of the other rep teams so we had to work hard to keep up.”
He was excited to see how they went in Christchurch.
“They have been great to coach.”
He was also impressed with the support the boys had from their parents, Mackereth said.
“The supporters are awesome.”
Team captain Flynn Reid (11) said the team was excited to compete in the tournament.
“Now we just have to win some games.”
He believed the team’s biggest strength was its teamwork.
“We talk to each other on the field.”