Zahn wins Country team cap
by Lee Gaskin
THE only thing missing for Bundaberg young gun Colby Zahn was a state open men's hockey championship title.
However, selection in the Queensland Country squad eased the pain slightly after he was one of his side's stars at the titles held on the Tweed Border over the Labour Day weekend.
Previously a shadow player in Queensland schoolboy sides, this was the first senior representative state selection for the 17-year-old, who said he was looking forward to the step up in class.
"Going away (with the Country team) is going to be fun, but more than that, it is gaining experience in a better hockey team,'' Zahn said.
His only disappointment at the state titles was the final against Rockhampton, where he said the side "fell apart''.
"We played some great hockey in the lead-up games, but after they scored early we just didn't regroup,'' he said.
Bundaberg player/coach Jamie Rach also lamented what might have been, but also said his side was on the wrong end of some "50/50 decisions''.
"Some of the tough calls didn't go our way, and if they did you never know what might've happened,'' Rach said.
"We needed to build some more pressure, but full credit to Rocky, they're a very skilful and experienced outfit.''
While Zahn was seen as one the best by state selectors, Rach praised the entire team for their performance.
"Obviously Colby stood out in the eyes of selectors, but I thought the whole team combined really well,'' Rach said.
"Sam Burtt was playing some good hockey, but unfortunately he suffered an injury after the second game, so he was a big loss.''
Overall, Rach said considering the age of the side, he was very pleased with the end result.
"We took down a very youthful team, and the guys are only going to get better with the experience,'' he said.
"Our best match was probably when he drew with Gold Coast 3-all ? it was a tough game that we could've lost but we fought back.''
A Bundaberg player for the past three years, Zahn will head to Melbourne for the national titles at "the end of July or early August'', a place where he is not looking forward to one thing ? the weather.
"I've never been there before, but I'm expecting it to be very cold, so that's going to be a bit different,'' Zahn said.