Kenny’s hard work pays off with state selection

Bundaberg's Ethan Kenny has been selected to play goalkeeper for Queensland at the under-13 national titles. Pictures: SHANE JONES

By Shane Jones

For one Bundaberg hockey player, it only took one tournament to establish himself as a state player of the future.

Arrows Athletics junior Ethan Kenny is celebrating after being selected for Queensland in under-13 following the state championships recently.

He helped Bundaberg finish 11th and importantly remain in Division 1 for next season in under-13 boys.

Better news was to come for Kenny, as the Shalom College student was selected in the under-13 boys Queensland team, in the Sabres, as the goalie.

He is joined by Connor Castelli, who has been selected as a shadow and will play if others are unavailable.

“It’s my third or fourth year of playing goalie and I just took it up to the next level and went higher,” he said.

“I was pretty excited (to be picked).

“It’s the first time for me and I haven’t made Wide Bay or anything yet so straight to Queensland is pretty cool.”

Kenny said two areas helped him get to the Queensland team.

The first was 100 per cent commitment and the second his shootout success in the tournament.

Not only did he make crucial saves but he helped Bundaberg beat Gladstone in the playoff for 11th and 12th in one.

Kenny made two stops, out of the five, to give Bundaberg the chance to play Division 1 next year.

“I could not have done it without the team,” he said.

“It was a really good feeling when I kicked the ball out in the end.”

The goalkeeper said his coaches provided plenty of support and his Arrows teammate, who plays Division 1 and 2 as a goalkeeper, provided the right advice to negotiate the shootout.

Kenny was also proud of the way his team responded to going forward and back when the side needed to.

The Shalom College student, if everything goes to plan, will represent Queensland at the nationals in Tasmania from 30 September to 6 October.

The hard work begins now.

“I’m going to keep playing and keep up all my hard work,” Kenny said.

“I’ll be also working on different bits and pieces.”

Kenny and Castelli are joined by Ava McCaig who was selected as a shadow for the girls under-13 state team.