STAYING SHARP: Rockhampton hockey players Jai and Egan Cass are grateful to have a scaled-down artificial turf field in their backyard. Picture: Allan Reinikka
STAYING SHARP: Rockhampton hockey players Jai and Egan Cass are grateful to have a scaled-down artificial turf field in their backyard. Picture: Allan Reinikka

Are these the luckiest junior hockey players in Rocky?

HOCKEY: Rising star Jai Cass is missing his hockey "very, very much".

The 14-year-old has been unable to train and play with his Wanderers teammates after Rockhampton Hockey's 2020 season was put on hold due to COVID-19.

He also missed out on representing Queensland at the national under-15 championships in Bathurst last month.

If there is one positive for Jai, it's that he can hone his skills close to home courtesy of the scaled-down hockey field in the family's backyard.

Dad Dave was the mastermind behind the project.

It sprung to mind as the original artificial turf at Rockhampton Hockey's complex was being resurfaced about two years ago.

"When they ripped up the old turf we bought a fair whack of it," he said.

"We've got a bit of land out here so we decided to put in our own turf.

"I got some guys to come and help me build it and we bought a hockey goal and a few other bits and pieces."

 

Jai and Egan Cass go through some drills on their backyard hockey turf. Picture: Allan Reinikka
Jai and Egan Cass go through some drills on their backyard hockey turf. Picture: Allan Reinikka

 

Dave said the 15m x 7m turf was ideal for Jai and his younger brother Egan, who is also a keen hockey player, to get in some practice.

It also serves as a badminton and tennis court.

Jai said he was lucky to have the turf at his back door, literally.

"I don't see any of my friends doing what I'm doing because they haven't got something like this," he said.

"Dad marks everything out and sets up the drills for us.

"It's good to work on different skills and things like my drag flicks."

Jai and Egan both started playing hockey when they were four.

Jai, who plays in the midfield or as striker, has since made six state teams and is looking to add to that tally.

He made his A-grade debut for Wanderers last year and is keen to see more action in the top grade when this season finally gets under way.

"I just want to keep my training up and see what I can achieve," he said.

"I've made friends from all over the country through hockey.

"I enjoy the competition and I like to win."



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