Extra joy: Good friends make Qld squad together
HAVING just been named in her first Queensland under-21 squad, Jordn Office had an added reason to be delighted.
One of her best hockey friends Talicia Canty was also included the latest state group, chosen after last weekend's Super League championships.
"We've played together since we were 12 so it's pretty cool to be in the 21s together,'' Office said.
Both 17-year-olds play for Wests in the Ipswich competition, as well as city representative sides and for the South West Lumberjills at Super League level.
The talented teenagers have shared in recent Ipswich A-Grade premiership successes with Wests.
West Moreton Anglican College student Canty also starred in last year's Ipswich Reserve Grade grand final, scoring four goals in Wests' 5-1 victory over minor premiers Swifts.
Both teenagers have worked hard for their representative honours, being identified as prospects for the next Australian under-21 championships.
Office recently achieved another first, sharing in the gold medal-winning success of the Queensland under-18 team at the nationals in Hobart.
She was also named in an Australian Futures squad, showing that selectors are keeping a close eye on her hockey development.
While Office appreciated that national recognition, she said her latest state under-21 honour gave her a timely boost.
"It's just really good because I've done hockey for so long and to now be given a reward for doing it, it is just the best feeling,'' she said.
"Everything is falling into place at the moment.''
Karalee-based Office is in year 12 at Ipswich Girls' Grammar School, conceding it's a juggling act and "pretty hectic'' managing her school work and hockey demands.
However, she's appreciated advice from former IGGS student Montanna McAvoy, who maintained high grades while achieving success at state, national and international level in her 3km and 5km running and steeplechase events.
"I've messaged her a couple of times for help because she's like top of her grade and top of her sport,'' Office said.
"She basically just said to do what I think is right.''
Having made her A-Grade debut aged 14, Office was determined to take McAvoy's wise words and choose where she can best pursue her sporting and future career.
The regular striker, who previously lived at Fernvale, gave up a possible schoolgirls trip to New Zealand to share in her formal and to focus on Super League and possible Queensland under-21 selection. That proved the right decision.
Office would also like to study psychology, particularly working with children.
But for the short-term at least, she wants to continue playing A-Grade (for Wests) and Division 1 (Redcliffe) in the Ipswich and Brisbane competitions, building on her impressive progress.
"Moving into the older ages, you learn more about discipline,'' she said.
"In the younger years, just everyone is on the ball.
"Moving into senior hockey, it's more off the ball stuff that's more important and I really learnt that last year.''