Sharna Godfrey, 16, has been named in the train-on squad for the Australian women?s ice-hockey team.
Sharna Godfrey, 16, has been named in the train-on squad for the Australian women?s ice-hockey team.

Red-hot teen playing it cool

By HUGH KEARNEY

A TWEED schoolgirl is a red-hot tip for selection in one of the coolest teams in Australian sport.

Sharna Godfrey, 16, has been named in the train-on squad for the Australian women's ice-hockey team to contest the 2006 Winter Olympic qualifying trials in South Africa in March.

The Year 11 student at Lindisfarne Anglican School was invited to join the squad after impressing selectors with her performance for Queensland at the national titles in Sydney.

Godfrey will fly to Sydney for tryouts on December 17 and if selected will return for training camps in January and February.

While the Australian ice-hockey team is only a remote chance of qualifying for the 2006 Winter Olympics in a sport dominated by North American and European nations, Godfrey is expected to form the youthful core of an Aussie team with its sights on the 2010 Games.

The teenager, who represented her country at the World Women's In-line Hockey Championships in Canada earlier this year, has only just returned to skating the ice after a break of several years when she concentrated on in-line hockey.

At just 14 she was named in the national women's in-line team for the New Zealand Nationals. Despite being the youngest player, the petite Godfrey impressed selectors who then named her in the 2004 national team which contested the World Championships in Ontario, Canada, this year.

Australia finished fourth with Godfrey as Australia's top goalscorer.

Godfrey plays in-line hockey with the Gold Coast Stars and ice hockey with the Logan team in Brisbane competition.

Her father, former Seagulls and Bilambil rugby league player, Brad Godfrey said his daughter's skill was in her speed and her ability as a puck handler.

"Sharna's not a big girl by any means but she has a natural ability with good eyes and soft hands," he said.

"She can take a knock but she dishes out as good as she gets and, unlike a lot of girls, is used to playing forward.

"She is only young, but I think she has a big future."



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