Zac McGregor: Crookwell's newest Australian hockey player

Crookwell's long list of Australian hockey representatives became one longer recently, when Zac McGregor was named in the Australian Under 18s indoor hockey side.

Focused: Zac McGregor (right) has represented the ACT numerous times in recent years, and stood out during the 2020 National Indoor Hockey Festival. Photo: Facebook.

Focused: Zac McGregor (right) has represented the ACT numerous times in recent years, and stood out during the 2020 National Indoor Hockey Festival. Photo: Facebook.

The 17-year-old was selected off the back of his form for the ACT Under 18s and Under 21s at the National Indoor Hockey Festival in January.

Zac's form in both tournaments was underscored when he was voted the ACT's MVP in the Under 21s side following the festival.

"[That recognition] is a fair feather in your cap when you're 17," Zac's mother, Megan McGregor, said.

"[National selection] is something that he has been working towards and he'd hoped that he'd done enough, but you're never sure.

"You want to put together your best game every time, which is hard to do over a tournament."

Aside from his results on paper, Mrs McGregor said the selectors had taken note of Zac's composure and willingness to learn.

"They also said that a lot of things were about attitude on and off the court, and coachability," she said.

"When he is playing, he is really single-minded, he doesn't allow anything to distract him. There's not a lot of chit-chat with Zac in a tournament, he implements exactly what coaches want."

After many years of training and playing to reach this moment, Zac was ecstatic when he heard the news.

"He was really excited when he was selected, because it confirms that you're doing the right thing and heading in the right direction," Mrs McGregor said.

The maturity and open-mindedness Zac shows on the court is mirrored in his off-court behaviour. He is a school captain at Crookwell High School and mature beyond his years, his mother said.

"When he was announced as school captain, I thought it follows," Mrs McGregor said.

"He's a good leader, he's a good mentor for younger kids, and he's a very considerate person."

Though the Australian team will not play until October, Zac has been hard at work following the training regimen outlined by Hockey Australia.

The coaches send regular updates and guidelines for the athletes to follow, as it is difficult to gather the team regularly from across the country.

This also allows Zac to maintain his training in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, after most sporting organisations have ordered local competitions halt until at least May.

The Crookwell youngster will be hit by the lack of organised sport more than most, as he also plays touch football, rugby league, cricket, soccer, and outdoor hockey.

Throughout all these pursuits, Mrs McGregor said the attribute which stood out most from Zac was his bloody-minded determination.

"There's never any doubt whether or not he gives 100%," she said.

"At nationals he made an impressive stick save from a drag flick at goal, and that epitomises Zac. It's never over, he's never done."

Anyone like Zac who is interested in playing junior hockey in Crookwell is welcome to attend the junior hockey registration day on Saturday, March 28.

It will run from 9.30am to midday at Todkill Park, and club president Mark McGaw said players of any experience are welcome.

"If you want to play junior hockey, come along to the registration day on the 28th," he said.

"We cater for all age groups and skill levels. So sign up and have fun playing hockey."


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