Vanuatu U.18 Men Defeat Fiji for first time in Pacific Hockey History!
Impressing at the North Coast Acadamy, Grafton NSW.
The U.21 National Vanuatu Boys Hockey team landed in Australia late Friday night. The team has come to Australia to compete in the Junior World Cup Qualifiers, that are to be held in Gold Coast this week.
After being in the country only 2 days, the boys have already turned a few heads, with their speed agility and natural ability impressing.
The team was invited to train at the North Coast Academy of Sport Hockey Camp in Grafton NSW. This academy is set up to support young and upcoming talented players, with fantastic facilities and new sporting technology.
Vanuatu participated in the two day camp, training hard from sun up to sun down and staying on site thanks to the kind generosity of the Academy. This gave the boys the chance to train on a full sized field, which has been of huge benefit to us.
The main field that the team train on at Wansmolbag Youth Centre , Port Vila, is a bit less than a quarter of a main field where 5 a side hockey is the only option. Taking the step up to a full sized 11 a side field is a big change, and our lack of experienced in this area proved a challenge at our last international tournament in Fiji.
Onlookers, coaches and players at the training clinic were very much impressed at the skill level and speed of the Vanuatu Boys. After just two days their improvements were immense, and the ability of the boys to pick up new skills quickly was high regarded by the head coach, Benjamin Webb. “The boys have a natural talent, and develop new skills at an amazing rate. For a group of young boys that have only taken up this sport in the last few years we are all impressed, and think they have a real potential for the future” comments Webb.
For the Junior World Cup Qualifiers, beginning this coming Wednesday, the team is now feeling well prepared. They have two more practise matches before playing Australia on Wednesday. The big game for the team however, comes on Thursday, against Papua New Guinea. “To win this, we are almost guaranteed a place in the Junior Olympics in Nanging China, next year “comments Vanuatu team coach Peter Robinson. “This will be a huge boost for Hockey Vanuatu, and can really help us get our name out there."