Lithgow hockey coach Wayne “Wally” Gaynor has been selected to coach the Hockey Australia women’s country hockey side on their tour through Asia.
The life-long hockey enthusiast has guided up-and-coming hockey players in local, state, as well as national squads.
This is the first time, however, Mr Gaynor has gone on tour with the Australian senior country side, scheduled to travel to Singapore and Malaysia in 2018. It will also be his first time visiting the countries.
“This is my second your on the senior side, but its my first year doing the tour. It will be mostly exhibition games,” he said.
“For the rookies it will be a great experience for them to play at a high level and experience the different styles of hockey different countries play in the match,” he said.
Mr Gaynor coached the under 21 Australian women’s country side for six years.
Mr Gaynor said his love of coaching hockey was first fostered in Lithgow.
“Jim Muir always put it on the younger players that once they made first-grade they had to start coaching a junior side,” he said.
“The most satisfying thing is when a player you have coached progresses and you see that the efforts you put in have paid off.
I believe all hockey players have that responsibility to younger players.Wayne Gaynor
“A young lady I once coached rang to tell me she had been selected for her first state side. The first person she called was her grandmother, then I was the second.
“I feel elated for them.”
While Gaynor has had a star-studded career he said he gets just as much enjoyment coaching on his home ground. His under 15s hockey team, the Workies Whites, have progressed to the grand finals of the high school competition and will play the Jays on Saturday, September 16.
"They’re a great bunch of young people,” he said.
“People put time into me when I was a junior. I believe all hockey players have that responsibility to younger players.”