Lithgow girls Clare Bosman, Hannah Kable and Abby Wilson all attended the NSW Future Pride Camp where 40 of the top hockey women and men in the state were chosen and then split into two teams to compete over four days.
There were four matches played at Sydney Olympic Park with the two competing teams; the NSW Roar and the NSW Lions.
Bosman who was on team Roar said her team won two games, lost one and drew the other match.
The centre-mid player said it was a camp for athletes that were recognised to have potential to play for the NSW Pride team.
"It gave coaches an opportunity to watch us play at a high level due to COVID not allowing many tournaments to go ahead," Bosman said.
Bosman said she had played with and against the majority of the 40 girls at the camp so she wasn't surprised to see who she would be playing against.
"I did get some good coaching on different structures and presses that our team used in the camp," she said.
While it was a much shorter hockey season than usual Bosman did have a reason to celebrate.
"I got to play in the Western Premier league on Saturday's and win the competition back to back with Lithgow Panthers and I also played in the Sydney Women's hockey league on Sunday with Western Districts.
Bosman said she would really like to be in the Pride squad.
"I want to keep playing good hockey with great people," she said.
Wilson, a striker and attacking midfielder said the hockey season started a little later than usual and required a lot of organisation to abide by state regulations regarding COVID-19.
"All clubs in NSW did a wonderful job creating COVID safe plans to allow us to all get back in hockey as soon as possible," she said.
Wilson said while she had played with many of the girls before, she also got to play with some new girls.
"Though coming together in a new environment with a mix of talent was a great learning experience and our team personally improved over the four games that were played," she said.
In 2019 Wilson played in the NSW Pride team and was the equal highest goal scorer of the league.
Wilson was only able to play a handful of club matches this year due to injury.
"I only played five games before I strained my hamstring, then played two games in Perth later in the year at the Super Camp I attended. The four games at the Future Pride camp was the most back to back games I had done all year," she said.
"Touch wood I don't get injured too often but this year I had a grade one hammy strain twice. Fortunately it wasn't a long injury and I was back on the field in a couple of weeks both times."
Wilson said it was always a pleasure to play for NSW, and her goal was to be selected in the Pride squad.
"I am striving to be selected in the Hockeyroos some time in the future, as I unfortunately missed out on Olympic Selection this year after attending the Super Camp in Perth just prior to the Pride Camp," she said.
Kable, an attacking and defensive midfield player said that she was lucky to be able to play at all this year.
"The hockey community was extremely lucky as Sydney Women's Hockey League allowed an eight week competition to go ahead in late July," she said.
"Even when training started back, there were restrictions such as distancing rules, only a certain number of players were allowed to train at a time, no team meetings and numerous precautions had to be taken along the way."
Another factor affecting Kable's play, was working in the health sector.
"Playing in the Sydney metro league was also a determining factor as I had to forego a couple of games due to the location of where the game was held," she said.
"Not having your family and friends to support and watch you was also hard, you don't realise the small things that contribute to your game until they are taken away."
Kable said playing under different coaches was always the highlight for her.
"The coaching staff were incredible sharing all of their own techniques and encouraging athletes to step up and try new things. The hockey NSW Pride camp was an encouraging competitive environment for all athletes to expand their knowledge and skills," she said.
Unfortunately for Kable she was partially injured during the NSW Pride Camp, and thus played limited minutes.
"It's always hard not being able to play to your full potential but with the Australian National Junior Camp in February I thought it was better to prioritise that and not potentially exacerbate my injury," she said.
Kable said unfortunately lots of hockey events and tournaments were cancelled this year.
"All nationals were cancelled, but I was lucky enough to be able to attend an Australian futures camp at the AIS in Canberra the week before the COVID lockdown started," she said.
"I was meant to attend a two week Australian National Junior camp in December but this was also postponed to February due to COVID."
Kable was part of the 2019 NSW Pride Squad who was lucky enough to travel to Perth as a reserve and now has goals to be part of the 2021 squad.
"This has always been a goal of mine and just falling short in 2019 has only made me want to work and train harder to achieve this goal in 2021," she said.
"I look forward to training and playing with the NSW Pride squad in the new year."