Reid's first foray rewarding
South Canterbury hockey player Cass Reid may be her own toughest critic, but even she admitted she was happy with her first foray into the Black Sticks.
The former Craighead striker became South Canterbury's first national women's hockey representative in almost 60 years when she was a surprise selection last month for the six-test series against India, which finished on Saturday.
The 18-year-old's debut lasted just 10 minutes before she was forced to hobble off after taking an Indian player's stick to the knee which required two stitches.
After missing the second test with the injury, Reid played in the remaining four matches and scored her first international goal in the 6-5 win in the last, which secured a 5-0 series win for Mark Hager's team. "It [the goal] wasn't anything special, it was just there after a penalty corner, so I whacked it home."
Reid, who is seen as a mid-fielder in the Black Sticks' setup, said the week-long experience had opened her eyes to how much work she still had to do.
"I was disappointed with how it went in the first couple of games, but after that I began to feel comfortable and I feel like I have the skills to be there.
"There's a lot more pressure on you out there . . . Sometimes it felt like the whole Indian team would swarm on you, so I need to work on my skills under pressure because that's where the major difference is."
She said she felt her game was better suited to the midfield role, but her increased defensive duties would take some adjustment.
"I'm not used to having to defend so deep in the circle - I didn't really like that."
Reid said the temptation was to train on things she needed to work on straight away, but after a long, breakthrough season, she was trying to resist the urge.
She will find out on Friday if she has made the squad for the Black Sticks' tour of Argentina in February, but she was not getting her hopes up.
"I'd like to be picked but I think they want to go with a really experienced lineup."
A stint with the Junior Black Sticks in their Junior World Cup qualifying tournament at the same time is more likely.
"I think going back to the Junior Black Sticks will be a good thing for me in the long run and will allow me to keep working on my game."
The Timaru Herald