Alissia Pearson is following in some family footsteps with her national hockey selection.
The 19-year-old is the only Tasmanian selected in the Australian under-21 country side to play in a tournament in Fiji next week.
Her call-up follows older sister Courtney’s selection in the same team last year as well as an under-23 development country team going to Malaysia in January while brother Jayden is fresh back from representing Tasmania on the national stage at the Australian Hockey League.
Pearson said she was delighted to extend the family’s hockey representation, after all three siblings followed their parents through the ranks at Launceston City.
“I was always keen. I started when I was five and I’ve been playing ever since,” she said.
“Mum and dad both played for Launceston City and dad has been president off and on so it was a natural progression into the sport.
“It’s just something a bit different. It’s challenging but extremely fun at the same time.
“Mum only stopped playing last year but dad still plays, when he’s not injured.”
The former Riverside Primary School, high school and Launceston College student went to play in Victoria in June in order to be eligible for the country side as Tasmania did not have an equivalent team.
She was subsequently selected as goalkeeper for the team which is scheduled to play eight matches in 13 days at the international tournament for representative sides which is designed to support the growth of the game throughout Fiji.
The national country team is intended to provide an opportunity for people outside metropolitan areas that might not otherwise be able to compete.
“It’s going to be really exciting time for us,” said Pearson, who plays for Canterbury in the premier league in Hobart and is keen to continue playing at a higher level.
“It’ll be a great experience playing a different style of hockey in a hot environment. I’ve played indoor in Singapore for the NSW Bushrangers but this will be completely different.
“I’m really excited, especially with some of the talent in the team, to play with different people from around Australia.”
Like Jayden, 21, who is playing with University in Hobart, Alissia occupies one of the most daunting positions in sport.
“Jayden was a keeper first and I just wanted to try it as well and I’m glad I did,” she said.
“I just love it.
“It’s not exactly the funnest position to play, especially at training when everyone gets to work on what they want and you just get to stand in their way.”