"SHE'S a super hockey talent."
Those are the words of praise that NSW Pride coach Katrina Powell gave Bathurst's Jess Watterson after including her in her 20-player squad ahead of the inaugural Hockey One season.
Given Powell earned 252 Hockeyroos caps, scored 141 goals in Australian colours and boasts two Olympic gold medals amongst her highlights, it certainly is high praise.
Watterson is no stranger to representative hockey, she has played in the Australian Hockey League for the NSW Arrows and is part of the Australian National Development Squad, but her inclusion in the Pride ranks as another big step.
Hockey One will act as Australia's new premier domestic hockey competition and Powell sees it as a way for an already talented Watterson to further develop.
"She's still young, but yes, she has played enough now and will be a critical member of our team," the coach said.
"She's such a super hockey talent, she's very, very gifted. She's got really good skills and great awareness of space, so yeah she's an easy one to work with because she naturally gets that stuff. She's super quick as well.
"Some of her strengths are exactly what talented hockey players have, those that do well.
"I'm always looking to support those that are coming through that are talented and the best way to support them is with some experienced heads around them. So we are really pleased with the balance of the group."
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The Hockey One season consists of seven home-and-away rounds, with Pride to play their opener in Sydney on September 29 against Adelaide Fire.
Watterson is not the only Central West talent in the Pride squad either with Parkes star Mariah Williams, Lithgow's Abby Wilson and Orange's Madie Smith also gaining selection.
"They are still young as well Madie and Abby, it's the same as Jess. Because they've been around for awhile, you just forget how young they are," Powell said.
"But that region is really well represented and the quality of hockey player coming out of there is really beneficial for New South Wales."
Though earning a place in the team which Powell utilises for the games will be another tough test for Watterson and her fellow Central West talents, the coach is keen to see what they can do.
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Powell is also confident that her team has what it takes to claim the inaugural Hockey One title.
"With only 14 travelling every weekend, first of all selections are going to be really difficult every weekend, but second of all, you know that those you are going to come up against are also quality players," she said.
"Many of these girls have played together for several years in various State and National teams, so they're very comfortable working together on the field.
"We've got a lot of depth and some fantastic young players who have already shown they can handle themselves at the top level. It will be an experience for them to play in front of a packed home-crowd for the first time."