Ainslee Deeth and Douglas Buckley are heading to South Africa to play hockey. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Ainslee Deeth and Douglas Buckley are heading to South Africa to play hockey. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

Teen hockey players jetted off to South Africa last Friday

A MIDNIGHT flight to Johannesburg? No problem.

Talented Rockhampton hockey players Douglas Buckley and Ainslee Deeth have experienced plenty of late nights of late.

The duo, who left Rockhampton yon Friday for South Africa, has been tuning into the late night coverage of the Australia's 2014 World Cup campaign at the Netherlands.

Led by ex-North Rockhampton High trio Mark Knowles, Jamie Dwyer and Matthew Gohdes, the men claimed the top honour while the Hockeyroos finished runner-up.

Buckley and Deeth get the opportunity to emulate their idols early next month when the pair lines up for Australia in a three-match Test series against South Africa.

Selected in the Australian School Sport boys and girls teams after starring for Queensland at the national championships in Hobart last August, the pair will don the green and gold of their country for the first time.

The Australian teams arrived in Cape Town Saturday and begin preparations for the first of the three-match series on July 8 against South Africa at Pietermaritzburg.

Buckley and Deeth both said they'd have some nerves before pulling on their country's national shirts.

"It's going to be an honour. I'm going to be so nervous, but I'm just looking forward to it," Buckley said while Deeth added: "I don't normally get nervous, but this is a bit different."

"It (nerves) doesn't really get to me that much, but now it's like, 'Oh my god'. It's so different. You don't really get an opportunity like this that often."

They'll play a handful of warm-up matches, and experience all that South Africa has to offer, before the series opener in 10 days.

The Australians will back up the next day and travel towards the south eastern coastline to Durban to meet the South Africans again.

While the boys remain in Durbin for their final match of the series on July 10, the girls return to Pietermaritzburg for what's hoped to be the opportunity to clean sweep the local national team.

Australian School Hockey

Three Test Series between Australia and South Africa

July 8-10 in Pietermaritzburg and Durbin, SA.



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