Tassie boys ready to fly

 TASMANIA is on the brink of unprecedented representation in the national men's hockey team.

Three players from the state will feature in the Kookaburras' test series against Korea this week, with only an untimely injury preventing its talisman from making it four.

Hobart youngster Jeremy Edwards has been named to make his international debut, where he will join established Launceston pair Tim Deavin and Nick Budgeon.

Meanwhile, two-time Olympian Eddie Ockenden is a fortnight away from making his comeback from a broken foot sustained in the Indian Hockey League.

Tasmanian Institute of Sport hockey coach Andrew McDonald was delighted with the representation in Ric Charlesworth's latest squad.

``It's a pity that Eddie is not quite available because it would have been great to have four,'' he said.

The four-test series begins on Friday night, and McDonald said all three TIS scholarship holders had benefited from relocating to Western Australia.

Along with Derwent teenager Amelia Spence, who featured in a Jillaroos versus Hockeyroos intra-squad match last night, and Ockenden, they make up a strong contingent of Tasmanians in Perth.

It has been a dream week for Edwards, who will be cheered on by his father who has flown over to watch his debut.

``It's a really good reward for someone who has made numerous sacrifices but just has an insatiable desire to succeed,'' McDonald said of the OHA player.

``It is good to see Nick get another opportunity. He was among the goalscorers in the final of the Azlan Shah tournament, and that's where players really get tested so he continues to put his name forward.''

The former Launceston City premiership player, now a teammate of Ockenden's at North-West Grads, has just returned from a training camp in The Netherlands, while Tamar Churinga's Olympic bronze medallist Deavin is on a break from his commitments with Kuala Lumpur in the Malaysian Hockey League.

``He's really enjoying that and will bring a real freshness to the Kookaburras,'' said McDonald. 

``Tim has a fair bit of experience now [64 caps], so leadership responsibilities in the side are not out of the question if he keeps playing well.''

The Korea series, which features further matches on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, will be the Kookaburras' first competitive action since returning from Malaysia in March with a record seventh Azlan Shah title. 

6pt UNIV INTO HELIOS; Starts in UNIV, breakback goes to helios, loops on breakbacks.KOOKABURRAS SQUAD:  Chris Bausor (WA), George Bazeley (VIC), Daniel Beale (QLD), Kiel Brown (QLD), Nick Budgeon (TAS), Joel Carroll (NT), Andrew Charter (ACT), Tristan Clemons (WA), Liam De Young (QLD), Tim Deavin (TAS), Jamie Dwyer (QLD), Jeremy Edwards (TAS), Russell Ford (VIC), Matt Gohdes (QLD), Rob Hammond (QLD), Tyler Lovell (WA), Josh Miller (NSW), Dan Mirecki (VIC), Trent Mitton (WA), Andrew Philpott (VIC), Glenn Simpson (VIC), Glenn Turner (NSW), Jacob Whetton (QLD), Tom Wickham (SA), Matthew Willis (NSW), Jason Wilson (QLD), Aran Zalewski (WA).

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