TEEN hockey ace Hannah Cullum-Sanders says the reality of her call-up to the Hockeyroos is still sinking in.
The 18-year-old Maryborough resident, who now plays for Redcliffe Leagues in the Brisbane Premier League, has been included in the Hockeyroos squad for the Trans-Tasman Series against New Zealand.
The four-match series gets underway in Auckland on Tuesday, May 10.
Cullum-Sanders said she was thrilled at the opportunity.
“I got invited to fill in the numbers at the Hockeyroos selection trial in Brisbane and was told to go along and have fun, so I wasn’t putting any pressure or expectation on myself,” she explained.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity and it’s still sinking in as I didn’t think I would be playing hockey for Australia for at least a couple of years, if that.
“To have the opportunity now is amazing.”
The former Aldridge State High School student is the only player from outside the Hockeyroos program selected by Head Coach Katrina Powell.
Following her performance at the national selection trials earlier this year, Cullum-Sanders was selected for the National Development Squad.
“Hannah is a little unknown, a little uncanny and has attributes we want to see in the attacking line,” said Powell.
“She is untested, so this is an opportunity to see how she goes at this level. She’s got good speed, good fitness and a good goal sense so we want to see how she brings that onto the international stage.”
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“In a way COVID worked in Hannah’s favour in that we went to several locations for selection trials as opposed to holding one camp in Perth, so that opened up opportunities for those who hadn’t been seen and she was one of those.”
“Hannah then came to Perth on an Athlete Visiting Agreement to train and play among the national squad and she showed her potential.”
The Trans-Tasman Series will be the team’s first international matches since the Tokyo Olympics.
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