Success at 2021 Under-18 Australian Championships

Emerging hockey star Jordan Smithall has returned to the South West from a tournament in Tasmania with the best sort of souvenir – a medal.

The local teenager was part of the team which flew the flag for Western Australia at the 2021 Under-18 Australian Championships held in Launceston, Tasmania earlier this month.

The black and gold-decked side impressively pushed though the carnival undefeated until they were edged out in the grand final by New South Wales.

“I was stoked to come back home with a medal, although kind of gutted we could have or should have got gold, but still happy with the team’s efforts to get silver,” Smithall said.

Although the TAFE student is no stranger to representing the State having previously been called up to contest both national indoor and outdoor championships, he was most recently a train-on for 15 and 16 state teams and didn’t get to compete.

“Hard work paid off making 18s and not being a train-on,” Smithall said.

Training with SWAS hockey coaches Nicole Arrold and Keith Old was a huge part of this success, with support provided to all the SWAS players competing for a place in an 18s teams. All up, five South West players secured a place in the men’s and women’s teams.

The South West Academy of Sport athlete, who was crucial in the WA under-18s side’s defence in Tasmania, said going away had made him grow, on and off the field.

Smithall said having such great coaching and strong players to play with and against had seen his hockey game improve.

“We trained hard for eight weeks and the team was pretty close, I think that helped to make us as good as we were,” Smithall said.