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Local hockey star Renae Parsons excited to help coach WA Country women’s side at home national championships

Decorated country hockey player Renae Parsons is hoping to use her experience to help the WA Country women’s side shine in their home State.

Parsons is the assistant coach of the WA Country women’s side for the Hockey Australia Country Challenge that starts in Albany on August 6.

There will be five Lower Great Southern Hockey Association players in the State women’s outfit – which Parsons herself has twice represented as a player.

Parsons has played for the Australian Women’s Country team on international tours and said a move into coaching had provided a new challenge.

She will be an assistant under Tenille Yandle, who is entering her third year in charge of the women’s side.

“Obviously I hadn’t thought it much about the coaching side of things until I couldn’t play but I do enjoy it,” Parsons said.

“I think I’ll be like a soundboard to the coach, another set of eyes.

“I might get the rotations or something like that but mainly it’s being another point of view.”

Parsons said it was exciting to have the national country championships on her home turf.

“This will be huge for Albany,” she said.

“We have a state of the art turf now and I don’t think we’ve had the chance to utilise that yet with other teams travelling here.

“It will be really good for young up and coming kids to come down and watch this level of hockey.”

Parsons has fond memories of her trips with representative teams and although WA are playing in their home State, she said the championships will again be a special time for this year’s group.

“Tournaments like this you don’t really get together beforehand,” she said.

“Then you are under each other’s feet for 10 or so days and by the end of it you are almost like family.

“You form friendships you have for life.

“Looking after your body over that week is a big thing and it’s a level above what most have played before, especially the physicality of the other teams.

“The team we’ve got now is very strong and it’s just a matter of getting everyone to gel.”

The Hockey Australia Country Challenge will be hosted by the LGSHA from August 6-13 in Albany.

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