Dubbo Hockey veteran to line-up with Australian Wattles side in South Africa

Tracey Hardie-Jones is no stranger to the thrill of pulling on the Australian green and gold or NSW blue, but the Dubbo Hockey Association stalwart is still pleased whenever the opportunity to add another cap to her record comes around.

This year, she'll be donning the Australian colours again as she lines up in one of the Australian Wattles sides that will contest the 'Spirit Of Masters' World Cup 2020 Tournament in Cape Town, South Africa.

"I'm pretty excited already, I've never been to South Africa and the World Cup is always really good competition, because you're bringing in all the different countries," Hardie-Jones said.

"I'm really looking forward to it, South Africa should be an amazing place to not only play hockey, but also get to experience and look around."

Hardie-Jones, having previously featured in both NSW and National Veterans teams and a multi-time Australian Masters representative, may have more experience playing hockey than anyone else in the country, so she's already familiar with what to expect from the World Cup's competitors.

"Usually the Netherlands are really quite strong, the United States as well, they're usually the stronger teams to play that you have to look out for, Ireland often has a very competitive side," Hardie-Jones said.

"Of course Australia is always up there as well, so I'm pretty confident."

But that stiff competition is what Hardie-Jones is hoping to test herself against, with some of the most experienced players in the world expected to feature in this year's tournament.

"The hockey is really quite strong hockey, it's good skilled hockey and playing people around your own age, it's good to test yourself against the world's best," Hardie-Jones said.

Hardie-Jones to represent Australia in World Cup Master's tournament.

Hardie-Jones to represent Australia in World Cup Master's tournament.

While the lure of a challenge and the honour of representing her country and sport are enough for Hardie-Jones, the event does bring other benefits, namely the camaraderie of several friendships that she's formed over her years of representing Australia.

"I really love the hard hockey, but the friendships that you make from all over the world, those are friends you have for a lifetime," Hardie-Jones said.

"There's probably a couple of Western Australia girls this time around that I haven't met before but almost all of us have played together at some point over the years in either state sides or Australian sides."

The side won't head to Cape Town until mid September, with the tournament beginning on September 14, but Hardie-Jones is still hard at work in the meantime, preparing for the eventual trip here in Dubbo, and overseeing the Dubbo Hockey Association's activities.

"Red City have been really supportive of me, they've been helping me out with my fitness and training program while I've been getting ready," Hardie-Jones said.

"I think Dubbo Hockey is moving in the right direction, the girls that we've got are showing that there's a lot of ability between them, Emily Corcoran and Courtney Hodge are really leading the way, so it's good to see that we're achieving great outcomes, and we're building a great culture."

This story Hardie-Jones to represent Australia in World Cup Master's tournament first appeared on Daily Liberal.