HE’S been part of a NSW junior team for three straight years but now Bathurst’s Fletcher Norris will be wearing the state’s blue for a different reason.
After continued success in the outdoor format of the game Norris, 13, will get the chance to show what he can do in indoor hockey.
Thanks to his dominant performance at the recent Under 13s NSW Indoor Hockey Championships in Orange, which included 24 goals, Norris has booked a ticket to the next level.
The ever-dangerous goal scoring threat led the way for Bathurst in their state championships division three triumph.
Norris will aim to take NSW to the title at the upcoming Australian Under 13s Indoor Hockey Championships to be held at Goulburn from January 12 to 15.
Indoor is not a version of the game that Norris is too familiar with but he’s excited for the chance to try something different.
“I had thought about the possibility of making the team but I didn’t really think I was a chance considering it was my first year of playing indoor,” he said.
“Indoor’s really different because there’s boards on the side of the field. You have to stay a lot lower playing indoor and the game’s so quick because it’s a smaller field.”
Norris said it was an amazing feeling to help take the Bathurst team to the state crown, especially with the team’s lack of experience with indoor hockey.
“We had to play second in Pool A. We drew with them but because we had finished top of our pool we went on to the grand final,” he said.
“We won the grand final 5-3.
“We’d had a couple of training runs with boards out on the turf. We got used to playing with the boards but not with the courts.”
The under 13s state team is stacked with Sydney and Illawarra representatives, who take up six spots.
Norris is the sole Western representative.
“Most of the team was in the outdoor team that I played with before. Either that or they were in the other state team, because there’s two teams picked for outdoor,” Norris said.
“There’s only one team selected for state indoor so I was really happy to make it.
“A couple of guys in the team have played indoor at club level. A lot of the players from Sydney, Illawarra and Newcastle have their own competitions.
“Sometimes it’s hard to adjust from outdoor to indoor or from indoor to outdoor. After the state training for indoor we had training in Orange for outdoor and it was hard to adjust.
“Last year’s NSW team won the Australian championships so I hope we can do the same.”
NSW recently had their first training session together at Gosford and will have another weekend of practice before the tournament.