IT was a bittersweet feeling for Newcastle 17-year-old Ky Willott.
Following in the family footsteps by earning a NSW Waratahs senior jersey for this weekend’s Australian Hockey League round, while at home watching the national junior team compete at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.
“I still have the smile on my face,” Willott told the Newcastle Herald on Wednesday.
“To get all the Waratahs gear with my name on it [at training on Tuesday night] was pretty special.
“It’s very exciting to get the call-up for NSW, especially after missing out on the Youth Olympics. It was a bit of a relief as well.”
Willott will join his brother, father and grandfather as a state player when NSW travel to Hobart for Sunday’s fixture with Tasmania.
The Australian Schoolboys representative received player of the final in Norths’ 1-0 loss to Gosford in last month’s Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League decider, but he knows this will be a different test again.
“It expect it will be a massive step up from juniors and 18s, mainly the ball speed and physicality,” he said.
The year 12 student at Belmont High School will train with the squad in Sydney on Thursday before flying interstate on Saturday morning.
NSW, who lost 6-4 to Queensland on the weekend, are without Kookaburras squad members such as Matt Dawson. Fellow Hunter product and two-time Olympian Simon Orchard stays with the Waratahs.
Meanwhile, former Souths player Mariah Williams was named for the NSW Arrows women’s team.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.