Gerringong hockey players seek to maintain winning streak

Gerringong's Monique Isemonger will tour Fiji in December as part of the Australian under 21 Hockey Team.

Gerringong's Monique Isemonger will tour Fiji in December as part of the Australian under 21 Hockey Team.

GERRINGONG'S Monique Isemonger and Ashleigh Mayo are hoping they will be able to help make it almost a decade of dominance for the NSW Women's Country hockey side at next week's Australian Country Championships in Toowoomba.

NSW have been the team to beat at the tournament in recent years, having won eight straight titles and only losing one pool game in that time.

The two Gerringong first grade players were selected for the side after strong showings at this year's NSW Women's State Titles, where they both played an important part in helping South Coast to the Division 2 title and promotion to Division 1 for next year.

Isemonger is hoping she can replicate her performance at last year's tournament, from which she gained selection in the Australian under-21 Country side that went on to tour Fiji.

"Last year was my first year in the side and I played out of position a bit, but a lot of the team's been together for a while so everybody knew their roles and that meant I could just focus on my game and that made things easier," she said.

"Hopefully I can play well again. Being selected in the Australian side was a huge honour and nobody wants to be part of the team that ends the winning streak."

Isemonger will take some additional motivation into this year's titles, having been named in the side's leadership group.

"We have a captain and a vice-captain and the coaches choose another person to be in the leadership group with them. It was never something I'd thought about but I guess the fact that they chose me means I've been doing something right and I'm looking forward to it."

While this is Isemonger's second year in the side, Mayo is looking forward to her first appearance and is focused on proving the selectors right.

"You always hope to be selected in sides like this. After the state titles I thought I'd be a chance but it still came as a bit of a shock.

"They've won eight in a row, so to be selected in such a strong side is something to be proud of.

"There's the bonus available of making the Australian sides, but my focus is just on playing well and living up to the expectations of the coaches."

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