Budding star given nod
KINGSCLIFF hockey player Jason Wilson, 17, is set become a hit in the national competition after he was selected last night for the 2005 Queensland Blade's squad.
Blades coach Greg Browning said Wilson was one of the state's best emerging prospects and ready to be thrown into the action.
His inclusion in the 20-man squad means the talented midfielder will link up with former Kingscliff player and close friend, Olympian Nathan Eglington.
Wilson will have the opportunity to impress this weekend when the squad plays three games against the Malaysian under 21 side.
Browning said Wilson had impressed at regular training sessions.
"I rate Jason very highly, he has come on quickly in a short space of time," Browning said.
"He is one of the fittest players in the squad and he is improving his skills and understanding of the game all the time.
"We want to give the younger players in our squad the opportunity to push for selection in the Australian team to compete in the under 21 world titles (later this year)."
The Blades will be without three of its Olympic stars for the first four games of the season, presenting a golden opportunity for Wilson to stake a claim for a starting position.
The season gets underway late February.
Speaking earlier this week before he was informed of selection, Wilson said he felt comfortable playing at the higher level.
"The speed is quicker and you don't have the same amount of time when you have the ball," Wilson said.
"You are up against good defenders also who are always on you.
"But, I have been happy with my form."
He plays club hockey with Brisbane's Easts.