Hancocks defender Abby Eleison chases a Red Lion player during a Combined Competition match. She’s eagerly awaiting her first Queensland Country opportunity.
Hancocks defender Abby Eleison chases a Red Lion player during a Combined Competition match. She’s eagerly awaiting her first Queensland Country opportunity.

Busy Abby’s extra reason to be proud of Qld selection

BEING one of six Hancocks players in line for Queensland Country duty, Abby Eleison was glowing with pride.

The fearless defender has been chosen for the first time to represent Queensland at the Australian Country Championships in Albany from August 7-14.

She was selected along with Hancocks teammate Natalie Davison.

Long-serving Hancocks and Ipswich A-Grade captain Sara Rogers was added as a shadow player with Wests talent Jess Wilkinson also on standby.

Hancocks trio Sam Morgan, Jay Pavitt and Jackson Willie were chosen in the Queensland Country men's side competing at the same tournament in Western Australia.

Queensland Country representative Sam Morgan representing Ipswich at the latest Queensland championships in Toowoomba. Picture: Nev Madsen.
Queensland Country representative Sam Morgan representing Ipswich at the latest Queensland championships in Toowoomba. Picture: Nev Madsen.

For Eleison, it's a wonderful chance to build on her hockey career having been busy in recent months with work and study.

"I'm very happy, very proud,'' said Eleison who is currently studying full-time at Griffith University and serving as a casual disability support worker at Labrador.

"It (representing Queensland) is a really good opportunity.

"I've been working really hard in trying to improve my game and be the best I can be.''

Queensland Country newcomer Abby Eleison (right) with her Hancocks A-Grade teammates.
Queensland Country newcomer Abby Eleison (right) with her Hancocks A-Grade teammates.

Eleison said having a familiar face, in another defender Davison, would make the trip to Western Australia more enjoyable.

"I'm really happy for her. She made the Country team last time . . . she's a great country player,'' Eleison said.

"It's going to be good fun and Nat's going to be there with me.

"We know how to play together being in the same club team and everything as well.''

Shadow players Rogers and Wilkinson also had strong performances playing for Ipswich at the recent state titles in Toowoomba.

Having represented Queensland and Australian Country for many years, Rogers is focusing more on coaching.

"She's been there for a while but it's good to see some other talent coming through,'' Eleison said of the latest team selected.

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Eleison was encouraged by Ipswich's fourth-place finish at the Queensland championships.

"We had a great side actually,'' Eleison said.

"We had a lot of experience there and it was great to see us all work together and they were all from different clubs.''

Eleison, Davison, Rogers and Wilkinson continue their Ipswich competition duties preparing for the Australian championships.

Unbeaten Hancocks tackle a resurgent Wests side in the 7pm Friday night match at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.

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Eleison and Australian under-21 squad member Zac Profke are a popular couple, having dated for four years.

Profke, who turns 20 in August, is currently at the Gold Coast as part of a national training camp preparing for the Junior World Cup.

"He's been pretty busy this week,'' Eleison said.

"I've texted him a few times and he said he's really loving it and having some fun.''

EXCITING PROSPECT: Zac in mix for Junior World Cup selection

Eleison and Profke are also top umpires, having teamed up to officiate together or separately in A-Grade competition.

Eleison said having a strong Hancocks connection recognised in Queensland Country was pleasing for the successful club and for Ipswich.

At the national titles, the Queensland women's team will be defending their national title, having won the previous championships in 2019.

The Queensland men came second the last time the national titles were staged.