HOCKEY talent Ryan Pace says he hopes to get a second chance to skipper WA after leading the under-18 men’s team to fourth at the Indoor National Championships in New South Wales.
WA lost the bronze medal match to Queensland 4-3, with Connor Yates giving his side the edge with a decisive field goal in the 26th minute of the second half.
Pace, of Attadale, said it was a tough exit.
“We lost the bronze medal game to Queensland which was quite disappointing, especially to come home without a medal after all the work we put in,” he said.
“But I think losing our semi-final against Victoria in a penalty shootout was more heartbreaking.”
Pace, who finished as the tournament’s top scorer, said he enjoyed the opportunity to lead a squad that included younger brother Mitchell and tournament MVP Dylan Forbes.
“Well it was the first time I’ve captained a team and I enjoyed it, so hopefully I’ll get another chance to do so in the future,” he said.
“It was nice to score a few goals, though I would’ve preferred to come back with a gold medal.”
The 19-year-old has set his sights on preparing for a strong season with the Suburban Lions in the Promotion 1 League.
“The goal now is to go back to outdoor and try and gain promotion to the Premier League,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say (the Indoor National Championships) spurred me on but I guess it gives me a bit of motivation for the upcoming outdoor season.”
A lasting legacy
It was a special time for Attadale brothers Ryan and Mitchell Pace during the recent Indoor National Championships, and not only because they had made the under-18 WA squad.
In the stands cheering them on was great uncle Errol Bill, who had represented Australia at the Olympic Games 58 years earlier.
Ryan said Mr Bill was someone he aspired to be like.
“It’s different with someone like that there to watch you,” he said.
“But he’s a really good role model and always offers you advice on how to go about your hockey and things you could do when you play to help you out.”
Mr Bill was just 21 when he was picked to represent Australia at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
His shirt is still displayed at the Goulburn stadium which hosted the recent Indoor National Championships.
Mr Bill said he was passionate as ever about the sport.
“The beauty of it, besides hockey being a good sport, is all these good people tied up in it,” he said.
“We were looked after as young kids on the way through and got so much enjoyment out of it that it’s not hard to put it back in.”