The Stebbings name is synonymous with Tasmanian hockey, so it’s no surprise 12-year-old Oliver is rising through the ranks.
The Punchbowl Primary student comes from a long line of talented hockey players, and with any luck, he’ll be as a good as his dad in “a couple of years”.
“I’ve played hockey since I was quite young, but I didn’t play games until I was nine or 10,” Oliver said.
“I went out to hockey with my mum and dad when they played.
“My pop played his last state game for Tasmania when he was 55, my uncle played for Australia in indoor, my dad played for Australia outdoor in over-40s - he went to Spain, and my mum played for Tasmania when she was younger.”
The Launceston City youngster will earn his first state caps this year when he lines up in August’s under-12 national championships in Newcastle and October’s under-13 national championships in Hobart.
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Oliver will join Queechy Penguins’ Hugh Shaw as the only two Northerners in the under-12 side, and will be the sole Northern player in the under-13 side.
He will also be the sole under-12 player in the under-13 side, having only ticked over to the dozen last month.
“I missed out on the state team last year,” Oliver said.
“I trained with the team but I didn’t go away, and this year I made it so I felt happier than last year.
“It was my first time trialling for a state team so I didn’t really know what to expect, but this year I knew what to expect, I tried harder and I made it.”
Oliver’s two state selections have inspired him to make more Tasmanian teams in the future, and with his brother and extended family close by he’ll have plenty of practice partners to choose from.