Narellan Vale teen Courtney Schonell had no time for nerves in her biggest hockey tournament of her career.
The 18-year-old was selected to represent the Australian women’s under-21s team for a tour of New Zealand in late November.
Schonell had plenty of game time in Australia’s striker line during the Trans-Tasman series, which the home side won 2-1.
In a quirky twist, all three games were decided by a 3-2 margin.
Schonell said she enjoyed the chance to step to the under-21s level.
“It was an interesting experiencing to play with the older girls but it was not too overwhelming,” she said.
“It was good to get such a big series under my belt.”
Schonell said New Zealand was a tough opponent but she was pleased with her form during the tournament.
“New Zealand plays a similar game style to us but was more aggressive than we expected,” she said.
“They put a lot of pressure on us and took advantage of our errors.
“I got close to scoring and was able to set-up a couple of goals.”
Schonell said she would now enjoy a holiday before heading back to training.
“I am in the Australian squad now and our next junior camp is in February in Melbourne,” she said.
2018 has already been a massive year for Schonell.
She made an impression at the NSW Under-21s Hockey Championship in Sydney in July, gaining selection in the Australian junior squad.
Schonell then represented the Australian under-18s women’s side at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.