Cheryl Rutherford and Tracey Baker have been selected once again to be apart of the NSW Masters Team competing in the National Championships in September.
Rutherford said the trials took place two and a half weeks ago in Newcastle and there were more players trialing then in previous years.
"I was managing an injury, was sick and there were lots of people to go up against so I thought I wasn't going to be selected," she said.
Rutherford who has been playing for NSW since 2002 said it was an honour to be representing NSW again.
"The trials are always difficult because different players move up age groups so you are always playing against someone different but that just makes you push and try a bit harder," she said.
"I am proud to represent my state and Lithgow at this level."
Tracey Baker said she was 'very excited and proud' to have been selected in the Masters Team.
"A lot of people tried out and it was very tight, I just did my best on the day and to be selected, I'm just proud and very humbled," she said.
"I just try out and if I don't get selected that's okay I just play what I love but to be selected is a bonus and it's very cool and exciting."
Rutherford who plays in the over 60s squad said there will be a lot of new blood in the team.
"We didn't have a nationals last year because of COVID which was disappointing but hopefully we can back it up and get gold again after a year off," she said.
The nationals will take place in Newcastle from September 23 until October 2.
Baker said a lot more people came out of the woodwork for the trials since the championships are being held in Newcastle.
"People who haven't trialed in years thought they would give it a go," she said.
"It is hard because you don't know what selectors are looking for but you just do it to the best of your abilities."
Rutherford has already started her three phases of training; strength and conditioning, providing a timed run three times in the next three months for endurance training and tolerance training.
"We also have to keep a chart of what we do since we are given exercises to do which strengthens you for eight days of competition," she said.
"The strength and conditioning is also very helpful to work muscles you didn't realise you would use playing hockey, so it is really good."
Rutherford said she would like to work with Tracey as it was better to work with someone rather than doing it all alone.
Baker started training last week with the training getting heavier over the next 10 weeks.
"I am fairly fit and have been playing hockey since March in a Western Competition against Dubbo, Parkes, Orange, Bathurst and Mudgee and we get together once a month in a different location to compete," she said.
The team won't play together until the Monday leading up to the championships.
"We will then meet everyone from across the state and practise our plays, corners and work out how each member plays.
"This is a crucial part of the lead up and because we have quite a few newbies we need to learn and study how they work the ball."
Rutherford said they will have the same coach and manager from two years ago, so she knows how they like the play.
Baker is hoping that her husband and sister can come and watch her play in Newcastle.
"I know some friends want to come and watch me, so it will be nice to have a little cheer squad," she said.
"But I do have friends in other teams, hockey is like one big happy family and we help each other out and support each other."
Baker said she will play her best and support her team members which is the only thing they asked of her.
"I would like to win another medal, that is what we are there for so it will be a take no prisoners situation," she joked.
In 2019 Baker was apart of the squad that took home silver and she will be looking to take home another medal.
Baker wanted to thank her family and friends for supporting her every year she plays.
"Thank you for being by my side and continually pushing me to the best of my abilities."
Rutherford said she would like to thank Panthers Women Hockey who she has been training with along with Lithgow Hockey and Workmen's Hockey.
"I also have to thank my family for being so supportive of me doing this for so many years, I honestly couldn't have done it without them," she said.
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