Deb Brown, Tracey Hardie-Jones to represent NSW at National Masters Hockey Championships in Bunbury

INSPIRING: Helen McGee, Tracey Hardie-Jones, Deb Brown and Lily Campbell are all evidence of the strength of Dubbo hockey. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE
INSPIRING: Helen McGee, Tracey Hardie-Jones, Deb Brown and Lily Campbell are all evidence of the strength of Dubbo hockey. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE

Dubbo’s Lily Campbell is a star in her own right.

But this month her “hero”, mum Deb Brown, is the one who will take centre stage when she represents NSW at the National Masters Championships from September 27 in Bunbury.

Campbell has played for NSW five times, including the under 18s this year. But this is the first time mother and daughter have made state together.

“It’s nice because we can share and talk about different things and we know we’re on the same wavelength,” Brown said.

“It’s a very proud moment.

“I’m following in her footsteps, or so she tells me!”

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It could be argued it’s Campbell who has followed in Brown’s footsteps.

“From about three, I grew up at the hockey fields and she was my coach,” said Campbell, who won this year’s Premier League Hockey title with Bathurst St Pats.

“Not many people can say they play for NSW and have a NSW [representative] mother.

“She’s a great hockey player and she’s my inspiration, my hero.”

Brown will join multiple Australian representative Tracey Hardie-Jones at the championships, while Helen McGee was named as a shadow and could be called up to play goalkeeper.

The women have worked tirelessly this season to improve their game, with Brown going so far as to play PLH for Orange club Confederates.

She and Hardie-Jones also played in Parkes’ A grade competition every Friday night.

“I trained really hard with these ladies to get this selection and it paid off,” Brown said.

“It’s great hockey and it’s hard hockey, which I love.

“It will be an unreal experience … I’m looking forward to getting out there and showing them what I’ve got.”

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Hardie-Jones is no stranger to representing her state; this will be her 16th year in NSW colours.

But for her, the decision to play in 2018 was harder than most. She’ll miss daughter Phoebe’s year 12 formal, but said her family’s support had been overwhelming.

She said Victoria and Queensland were likely to be their toughest opposition, and looks forward to making her case for green and gold selection.

“It’s good, skilled hockey and believe it or not it’s easier to play because all around the paddock there’s [strength],” Hardie-Jones said.

“It’s always exciting, and really good to have another Dubbo player with me.”

For McGee, getting the call-up for Bunbury would be the icing on the cake and she thanked Brown and Hardie-Jones for their support.

“It’s been a really good experience to trial and meet the girls and play hockey,” she said. “I really look forward to [every training session]. You pick up so much so it’s a great opportunity.”