Latham's keen to be fit

CITIES’ star Brodie Latham will fly the flag for the Bundaberg Hockey Association in Canberra next week as a striker with Queensland Country.

Latham, 20, will slot into the state side in the crucial role of striker after a dominant performance with the Bundaberg representative team in the Queensland State Titles in May.

“We played pretty well, but I didn’t really think I stood out,” he said.

“The call came as a bit of a surprise.”

It is a role Latham knows well having first tried his skills at the front of the pitch with Cities as a four year old.

“I love playing up the front,” he said.

“You always get plenty of ball and I’m hungry for goals, so it suits me well.”

State selectors pencilled Latham’s name on to the team list after he spearheaded Bundaberg’s push into the top four of the competition with his trademark tenacity and aggression helping him scored eight goals over the five games played.

He is no stranger to the Queensland Country guernsey having gained selection into the Under-15 side in his youth, but expects his competition to be a little older, a little quicker and a lot more physical this time around.

“It’s not going to be a walk in the park by any means,” he said.

“It’s a pretty bumper schedule and the games aren’t going to be easy. I’m expecting to be sore from head to foot after it’s all over,” he said.

The Queensland Country squad will fly to the nation’s capital today for a last-minute training camp before beginning the week-long competition on Monday.

Latham is anticipating a noted difference in skill between Bundaberg fixtures at Hinkler Park and the titles at the National Hockey Centre in Lyneham.

“We’ve got a pretty competitive competition here, but this is going to be something else entirely,” he said.

“I think the first game might be a bit of a wake-up call for me, but I’ve been working hard on my fitness and my game so I’ll be doing my best to step up and do what I need to do.”

Besides training with Cities, Latham has been hitting the pavement for regular runs to boost his fitness and has taken up indoor cricket and touch football.

“I don’t want to get out there and run out of puff,” he said.

“I’ve been working hard on my fitness so hopefully it pays off.”

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