Players master hockey rivals
PLAYING in goal holds no fears for Rockhampton's Dan White.
He just shrugs it off and says "we're a certain breed".
However, White is also rather good at what he does, playing for the champion Wanderers team in the local competition and representing the state in masters' competition.
While he has a rich history in the sport, having been involved in representative hockey through the age groups, it is his latest involvement in the Queensland Masters over-35 team that is his recent highlight.
He shared the triumph with Wanderers clubmate Shane Johnson.
"We have known each other since I was 14," White said.
The pair met at Bundaberg when both were involved with the Queensland under-15 hockey team and have shared success ever since.
However, until this year the pair had not teamed up in the Queensland Masters team and it still looked unlikely when Johnson, who usually plays at fullback, was named in the shadow squad.
Unable to get a Rockhampton over-35 team to play in the Queensland Championships at Cairns, Johnson and White joined a Barbarians team, consisting mainly of Cairns players who were over 40.
Following the tournament White was named in the state team but Johnson, who had played good hockey at centre half, was chosen only in the shadow squad.
However, if Johnson had been looking for a special birthday present he received it on his big day, getting a call telling him he was in the team for the national event at Canberra.
From there the rest went well for the pair, even though Queensland suffered a loss to arch rival NSW (2-1) and a surprise loss to ACT (3-2). However, a convincing victory over Victoria meant Queensland made the final on goal difference.
"The grand final was one of the best experiences of my hockey career," White said.
Leading by a goal from a penalty corner at half-time, the Queenslanders had to endure intense pressure in the second half and couldn't prevent an equaliser.
However, the team spirit the Queenslanders had fostered proved to be important as they made it 2-1 and held on for a famous victory.
"It is certainly a higher level, more intense," White said.