Narellan Vale teen impresses for Australian women’s hockey side

Narellan Vale teenager Courtney Schonell has returned home after representing the Australian women's under-21s hockey team. Picture: Chris Lane
Narellan Vale teenager Courtney Schonell has returned home after representing the Australian women's under-21s hockey team. Picture: Chris Lane

Narellan Vale teen Courtney Schonell had no time for nerves in her biggest hockey tournament of her career.

The 18-year-old was selected to represent the Australian women’s under-21s team for a tour of New Zealand in late November.

Schonell had plenty of game time in Australia’s striker line during the Trans-Tasman series, which the home side won 2-1.

In a quirky twist, all three games were decided by a 3-2 margin.

Schonell said she enjoyed the chance to step to the under-21s level.

“It was an interesting experiencing to play with the older girls but it was not too overwhelming,” she said.

“It was good to get such a big series under my belt.”

Schonell said New Zealand was a tough opponent but she was pleased with her form during the tournament.

“New Zealand plays a similar game style to us but was more aggressive than we expected,” she said.

“They put a lot of pressure on us and took advantage of our errors.

“I got close to scoring and was able to set-up a couple of goals.”

Schonell said she would now enjoy a holiday before heading back to training.

“I am in the Australian squad now and our next junior camp is in February in Melbourne,” she said.

Courtney Schonell is focused on her next big opportunity in the green and gold. Picture: Chris Lane

Courtney Schonell is focused on her next big opportunity in the green and gold. Picture: Chris Lane

2018 has already been a massive year for Schonell.

She made an impression at the NSW Under-21s Hockey Championship in Sydney in July, gaining selection in the Australian junior squad.

Schonell then represented the Australian under-18s women’s side at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.

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