Super achievement for representatives

September 28, 2016

State Country Championship representatives Jayden Gulson and Chris Mathew will head the Echuca-Moama River Rats' challenge in Sunday's Hockey Victoria regional league final. PHOTO: Dave Chapman

Mathew is the coach of the senior men’s side and Gulson is the captain as they prepare to host SYC (Shepparton Youth Club) on Sunday.

Echuca-Moama is undefeated but Mathew and Gulson are taking nothing for granted as they both rate SYC a tough opponent.

While Sunday will be a keenly fought contest, the pair will have to regroup and perform again on a bigger stage at the end of July.

They have been named as part of the Victorian Country team to compete at the national championships in Darwin from July 24-31.

The pair made the squad after strong performances at the senior country week tournament in Hawthorn over the June long weekend.

For Mathew it is his first appearance for Victoria Country in about 10 years while Gulson is backing up for his second consecutive year in the side.

Gulson was part of the Victoria Country team that finished runners-up to NSW in a penalty shoot-out in last year’s national titles at Wollongong.

This year he is keen to go one better and win gold.

‘‘Hopefully. That’s our aim,’’ he said.

The Gulson family will be well represented at the titles with Jayden’s sister Kari making the women’s Victoria Country team.

Kari is the captain of the Echuca-Moama women’s side which also made the Regional Super League grand final against Strathdale.

And to complete the family connection, Kari and Jayden’s father Mick is the coach of the Echuca-Moama women’s team.

Like their male counterparts, the women’s side is also undefeated but Mick is wary of a more than capable Strathdale side.

‘‘Strathdale is one of the strongest Bendigo clubs,’’ he said.

‘‘We had a 2-2 draw with them a few weeks ago. They’ve got three or four ex Vic Country reps in their side so the calibre of the team is very good.

‘‘We’re missing some key players but if we stick to what we’ve been working on this season so far we can get the job done.’’

The men’s grand final starts at noon on Sunday and the women’s decider follows at 2pm at the hockey ground behind Echuca College.

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