Wilson laughing his way to Europe
KINGSCLIFF'S Jason Wilson is laughing the distinct call of a Kookaburra after being named in the 24-man Australian hockey squad to tour Europe this month.
The 21-year-old becomes the latest in a flock of Kookaburras who honed their trade on the Tweed, including most recently Nathan Eglington and Matthew Butturini.
“It was great receiving the phone call from Ric (Charlesworth - Australian coach),” Wilson said.
“I'm going into the squad replacing guys that I've always looked up to.
“I'll be one of the youngest and hopefully I can bring a new energy to the side.”
Wilson's selection comes off the back of several impeccable performances in the Australian Hockey League, in which the Queensland Blades striker topped the goalscorers' list with 13.
It is a just reward for the talented striker who travelled to Brisbane at least once a week for more than three years before turning 18 and leaving the family home to pursue his dream in the city.
He reaped instant results, playing in the national junior hockey squad for four years running and the Queensland under-21 team for five consecutive years.
Last year Wilson managed an even more amazing haul at the national junior titles, bagging 15 goals for the undefeated Queensland side and being honoured as player of the tournament.
“You can get lucky some years, and I guess I have been twice,” he said. “It's just nice to be rewarded for all the hard work I've put in.
“It's pretty hectic training a minimum of 10 hours and working full-time.
“I've only ever travelled around Asia, so I'm definitely looking forward to playing in Europe, and particularly in the Netherlands where the game is so big.”
In Europe, Wilson will play alongside fellow Queenslanders and Kookaburra veterans Mark Knowles, Liam De Yong, Jamie Dwyer and Robert Hammond.
“It was an awesome feeling to see my name listed alongside guys who played in the last Olympics,” he said.
“Playing and training with the best player in the world, Jamie Dwyer, and all the older guys just teaches you so much.”
Wilson and the Kookaburras leave for Europe at the end of next week.