Kookaburras could call for Budgeon ( admin posted on June 13th, 2018 )

Courtney Pearson, of Riverside, is checked for speed by rising star Nick Budgeon at St Leonards yesterday. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSONFORMER Launceston City hockey player Nick Budgeon could be the next Tasmanian in line for the Kookaburras following his national development squad selection for 2013.
Nanjing Night Net

The 24-year-old boasts an impressive pedigree as the offspring of a famous Northern hockey family that includes dad Craig and uncle David.

Budgeon moved to Hobart four years ago to further his hockey and captains North- West Hobart Graduates.

The Tasmanian Institute of Sport scholarship-holder has played about 40 games with the Tigers in the Australian Hockey League.

Back in Launceston yesterday for a drag-flick coaching clinic with Beijing Olympian Luke Doerner at the St Leonards Hockey Centre, Budgeon said he was excited by his national call- up after a couple of injury- interrupted seasons.

“I played a series back in 2010 with an Australia A side against India and post that series got injured with AHL,” he said.

“There was one year where I didn’t play too much, and I went off the radar for a while and I thought my window might have closed.

“But I had an OK tournament this year and scored some goals and managed to get myself selected in the national development squad, which is extremely rewarding because I’ve worked hard in the past few years.”

Budgeon will be joined in the squad by fellow Hobart player Jeremy Edwards but was unsure whether the pair would have to relocate to Western Australia or travel for national camps and series.

“The Azlan Shah tournament is coming up and a senior team will be picked in the next week,” he said.

“A lot of Kookaburras are unavailable in Europe so potentially that opens a window, and because I’m a drag- flick corner specialist that gives me a bit of leverage.

“Historically the coach had a bit of a tradition of giving a lot of players exposure, and potentially the tournament provides the opportunity to use development players with a few experienced ones thrown in.”

Budgeon praised the influence of recently retired Kookaburra player and North-West Grads teammate Doerner on his career.

“He has done a lot of work with me on penalty corners and has had a massive influence over the past couple of years on my hockey and my mindset,” Budgeon said.

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