Veteran Albany hockey player Paul Murray will take to the international stage following the London Olympics after his selection in the Australian International Masters men’s 55s hockey team last Saturday.
Picture by Laurie Benson
Hockey Australia announced Murray and 15 others as part of the team after the Masters Championships in Canberra, where he represented the WA Country Masters Association.
Murray is part of seven Australian men’s teams making up age groups ranging from 40 to 70 heading to the 2012 Masters World Cup in Canterbury next August.
Teams from around the world, including India and New Zealand, are expected to compete for the International Hockey Federation World Cup for the first time.
The event will be staged between the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
“I was as crook as a dog at the time so I didn’t even attend the selection presentation,” said Murray, who arrived back in Albany late last week.
The 54-year-old deputy principal of Yakamia Primary School conceded the significance of his selection had still not hit home and indicated it may not until he is on the plane bound for England next year.
“It will be a bit of a shock, but I just hope I’m up to the standard,” he said.
Murray’s 46-year association with hockey dates back to his junior years when he represented Albany Primary School as an eight-year-old.
His playing career has included metropolitan-based representation for Subiaco City and Cricketers under the guidance of Australian hockey coaching legend Ric Charlesworth.
He has also played for Central Great Southern in Katanning and was part of Spencer Park Vets 2011 B-grade premiership side.
WA Country Masters Hockey Association and Australian Masters Hockey Council life member David Horsley, 69, who has represented his country on 14 occasions at international level, said Murray would find the experience “absolutely marvellous”.
“He’ll get really caught up in the atmosphere and nationality of it,” Horsley said. “Masters hockey has provided a lot of people with the opportunity to play at an elite level in veterans who would otherwise have given the sport away.
Manypeaks women’s A-grade coach Ian Evans was also selected as a shadow player in the Australian International Masters men’s 55s team.
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