Souths juniors on roll for state duty

From back left, Angus Abbo, Sebastien Rollings, Josh Magann and Tom Forbes and, front, Lachlan Jackson, Archie Nelmes and Jayden Bisson have been selected in the NSW under-13 teams. Picture: Max Mason-HubersA GROUP of South Newcastle talents is testing the memory of hockey buffs in the region after making up almost a third of the NSW under-13 team.
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Souths juniors Angus Abbo, Sebastian Rollings, Lachlan Jackson, Archie Nelmes and Jayden Bisson, as well as Maitland’s Josh Magann, have been selected in the 16-boy state squad to contest the national titles in Darwin from September 25 to October 2.

Maitland’s Tom Forbes made the second NSW team, the Blues.

Souths and Newcastle representative under-13 coach Glenn Bisson, who is Jayden’s father, said the likes of former Kookaburra Stewart Dearing could not remember one club from the region supplying five players to a state junior side.

‘‘I was asking around last week, if anyone could remember anything like this happening before,’’ Bisson said.

‘‘No one could remember five from Newcastle making one state team, let alone five from one club side.’’

The Hunter boys were selected to attend a 50-player selection camp in Sydney after Newcastle’s domination of the state titles in Taree from July 10-12.

Newcastle won the division one title and their second side were joint champions in division three.

The No.1 side scored 32 goals and conceded just one in six games to go through the top division competition undefeated.

Bisson was proud of the disciplined performance from his squad.

‘‘We certainly went there hoping to do well because we had a good team, but state championships are always hard,’’ Bisson said.

‘‘There’s always tough competition, especially from the Sydney teams.

‘‘But the boys worked hard and have a very mature outlook for their age.

‘‘They play a very structured style of hockey, and they carried out that structure and game plan very well.

‘‘We did that a lot better than the other teams at Taree.

‘‘It’s a huge achievement for the boys and they dominated, so it wasn’t a surprise to see so many in the squad.’’

Abbo and Rollings were among the top goal scorers at the tournament. Jackson, Forbes and Bisson played in the midfield, Nelmes is a half, while Magann was in defence.

Not surprisingly, the Souths under13s team are undefeated in the Newcastle competition with two rounds remaining.

Bisson said the talent in the age group meant there were exciting times ahead for Souths and Newcastle hockey.

‘‘I think this will be the next lot of kids that comes through and dominate the higher grades,’’ he said.

‘‘If they stick together, they will have a tremendous team.’’

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