Southland girl Dayna Holland has made the outstanding achievement of being selected into the New Zealand under-18 women's hockey squad yesterday.
The talented 18-year-old striker for Mataura's premier woman's team said being selected for the 30-strong New Zealand squad was a bit of a surprise. "My heart was beating really fast."
She said she screamed with excitement when she saw her selection and would celebrate with her family.
Holland received a text message from her Southern under-18 coach Mark Stafford, who told her it would be a good idea if she looked at the Hockey New Zealand website. Holland said she didn't want to get too excited but thought there may have been pleasing news for her. "He wouldn't just say it for no reason."
Southland elite coach and Southern under-18 coach Mark Stafford said the news of her selection was wonderful.
"Dayna deserves it. No-one works harder than her."
The way Holland played at the national under-18 premiership tournament was outstanding, he said.
Stafford said Holland's selection was not a surprise for him because she was a naturally gifted player. Being at such a high level would not scare Holland at all, even though there would naturally be some apprehension going into a new situation, he said.
The coaching and learning Holland will receive in the squad was invaluable and mixing with the top people in New Zealand hockey would benefit her game, Stafford said.
There were three or four more Southland girls who could reach that level of hockey within the next few years if they put the hard work in like Holland did, Stafford said.
- © Fairfax NZ News