‘It was definitely satisfying’: Kate Pulbrook looks back on undefeated national hockey title with NSW

ORANGE BORN AND BRED: Eva Reith-Snare (left) and Kate Pulbrook (right) with Edwina and Meredith Bone in Brisbane two weekends ago.AFTER the Hockey Australia Under 13s Girls’ National Championships in Brisbane earlier this month, Hockey NSW western region coaching coordinator Kate Pulbrook has found herself boasting a forgotten sporting success story.
Nanjing Night Net

It’s become common knowledge Orange guns Bailey Ferguson and Eva Reith-Snare were a part of their respective boys’ and girls’ undefeated national title winning NSW teams.

However, few are aware Pulbrook coached the girls’ side to the championship – in her first crack at the job. Despite having a wealth of coaching experience, Pulbrook acknowledged mentoring a young side at the national level presented a welcome challenge, which turned into a wonderful success story.

“It was definitely satisfying,” Pulbrook said.

“The girls did an incredible job. [Winning] was definitely an aim, but with a group of girls from all over the state you never really know.”

Pulbrook’s side’s title was NSW’s second in as many years, and the sky blues’ mentor said the expectation from outside and within the camp posed a problem for her side, one the players dealt with exceptionally.

“There was a bit of expectation,” she said.

“In fact, the girls who played last year had that expectation on themselves for this year, so we had to try and get them to just focus on our game rather than that, which they did well.”

NSW won nine of its 11 games and drew the other two to secure the title, and had the added advantage of being able to learn from, and mingle with, several Australian Hockey League (AHL) teams.

Pulbrook said she had personally made a huge effort to watch the ACT Strikers’ games, to have the chance to watch and catch up with Orange’s Edwina and Meredith Bone.

“Yeah that was great, the NSW AHL came and worked with our under 13s, and I’m sure they learned plenty,” Pulbrook said.

“We had pool sessions, and some of them answered questions for the girls if they asked. It was great.

“And I’m pretty good friends with Eddie and Mere (Bone) so we caught up with them and always made sure to watch their games. More for me, but Eva knows they’re from Orange and wanted to see them in action.”

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