Taste of failure reason for heading overseas
When former Timaru Boys' High School hockey star Andrew Ross left Timaru 18 months ago, he was the most promising player in the province.
After heading south, he had failed to make any impact on the Dunedin and Otago scene and believed his playing days were at a crossroads.
"Last year, I went to Dunedin, didn't make any good teams, so over the summer I thought ‘right, I'm going to do something about this'.
He then partnered with former New South Wales player Darryl Foy, who gave him a conditioning programme and the rest in history.
The 20-year-old centre half-cum-inner is now part of the Southern Men's under-21 team and has accepted the chance to play in the Netherlands for Dutch club HC Houten for five months.
The self-funded trip will see Ross have to raise close to $4000 for flights alone, but he said it was a great opportunity to increase his skill level.
"It felt like if I wanted to something with my hockey that it had to be this year.
"The taste of failure made me pretty motivated."
Ross was named South Canterbury Men's Hockey Player of the Year when he was in year 12.
"It's a bigger pond (than Timaru) . . . It was a big level up and I knew I had to get myself there.
Ross said playing for HC Houten would be quite an experience.
"I'll be playing for their top side," he said. "They have 1500 members and six turfs so it's amazing.
"Hockey to them is like rugby for us.
"I don't know what I'm getting into but it's going to push me to the level I want to be when I get back.
"I'm definitely going into a hockey culture.
Ross is back in Timaru working and training as hard as he can while trying to fundraise for the trip.
The former South Canterbury men's representative hoped to leave in late July and hoped to be home for the summer break before starting a new winter season in New Zealand.
- The Timaru Herald