READY FOR SELECTION: Gympie hockey players Riley Bambling and Matt Browne hope to secure a spot for the Queensland under-18s team at the trails next year.
READY FOR SELECTION: Gympie hockey players Riley Bambling and Matt Browne hope to secure a spot for the Queensland under-18s team at the trails next year. Bec Singh

Gympie hockey duo up for U18 state squad challenge

HOCKEY: Two Gympie hockey stars will vie for a spot in the Queensland under-18 team next year.

Riley Bambling, 17, and Matt Browne, 16, are two of 60 players who will compete for a place on the team at the trials in February in Brisbane.

Both players have been strong for the Cooloola Heat men's side.

Gympie hockey - Matt Browne.
Gympie hockey - Matt Browne. Bec Singh

Bambling has played for Queensland under-13s and 14s but this is his first under-18 side.

The Long Flat teen said if he had not been playing for the Heat and the Gympie under-18 Division 2 team the trials would not have been as smooth.

Gympie hockey - Riley Bambling.
Gympie hockey - Riley Bambling. Bec Singh

"I wasn't really expecting it because we were playing Div 2 and didn't think they would really look at us,” he said.

Making the squad was a goal of Browne's this year.

"I feel accomplished; it is exciting and also a bit nervous coming up against all the tall people,” he said. "Playing in the men's comp has improved my game. Playing with men that are bigger, taller, stronger and faster.”