Hilder Looking Forward To Home Series
10 years ago Australian Mixed Open representative, Kylie Hilder was in a similar boat to nine of her Australian teammates for the upcoming 2012 Trans Tasman Series in Mudgee.
The year was 2002 and Hilder had been named in the Australian Mixed Open side for the first time, making her debut on home soil.
Fast forward to 2012 and Hilder, who currently has 37 Australian caps to her name, is the most experienced Australian Mixed Open player in the side that will line up against New Zealand at the Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex in Mudgee, New South Wales from Thursday.
A lot has changed since then, having won three World Cup titles as well as getting married and having two children, but the drive to represent her country still remains. Despite her experience, Hilder says she was ‘really nervous’ at the initial camp earlier this month but can’t wait to take on the Kiwis later this week.
“I think it’s really exciting to be able to be a part of a team that has got so many debutants. When I was young and just making my debut for Australia at home in Australia it was a big thing, so to be able to be a part of that with all of these ones is awesome as well,” Hilder said.
“I’m just stoked to be still playing and running around with 17 and 18-year-olds and enjoying it, I still have the drive to get out there and play.”
“At the camp everyone’s so excited and pumped and just playing with different people, but also playing a complete different style of Touch Football to what we played at World Cup is exciting.”
The 2012 Trans Tasman Series marks the first time Hilder will represent Australia on home soil since her debut in Coffs Harbour in 2002. Having husband, Troy and children, Ashton (seven) and Nate (three) in the crowd as well as other members of her family will make the event an extra special one for the 36-year-old.
“In that time I’ve played two World Cups but obviously the World Cups have been over in South Africa and Scotland so my husband hasn’t even seen me play for Australia. That was one of the big driving forces behind me really wanting to make this team, not only that but my family, my Mum and Dad and sisters are all travelling over as well. Last time they saw me play was actually 10 years ago when it was in Coffs Harbour so it’s going to be special.”
It will be a new look Mixed Open side that takes to the field in Mudgee, with only six players from last year’s World Cup winning side returning to represent Australia in the division at the event. The side also sees former Australian Women’s Open assistant coach and 2009 Australian 20’s Boys coach, Micheal Lovett in the head coach role, with experienced Mixed player and coach, Manu Wakely as assistant coach.
Despite a short lead in to the Trans Tasman, Hilder says that the feeling in the side is really positive and she is looking forward to the opportunity to play under the guidance of Lovett and Wakely.
“Already the dealings I’ve had with Mick… he is really switched on and the direction he’s taking I’m loving already and the way that he wants the team to work is just unreal and I think he’s going to be really successful as a Mixed coach and I think the Mixed team is in very good hands,” she said.
“The style of play Mick wants to play means that I’ve been picked in the link/middle girl spot and he wants us more involved which is awesome and getting to play with the calibre of guys that we’ve got in this side who are so talented and being able to work with them, I’m really looking forward to it and am excited.”
Taking part in the Series so close to ANZAC Day and taking part in the ANZAC Day march in Mudgee is something that Hilder describes as ‘extra special’ and is something she is also looking forward to.
“It’s going to be special as ANZAC Day is such a special day for Australia and then being able to be part of something special in Mudgee with the ceremony that we are going to be part of and then playing the Trans Tasman afterwards, I’ve never done it before so I think it’s going to make it just that little bit extra special.”
The Australian Mixed Open team starts their campaign against New Zealand at 6.30pm on Thursday, 26 April 2012.
There are plenty of ways to keep in touch with the 2012 Trans Tasman Series, which will be held at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex from Thursday, 26 April to Saturday, 28 April 2012, including in the following ways:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustralia
Twitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #transtasman2012 in your tweets)
YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus