BIG WIN: Tyler Gaddes (right) celebrates with teammate and fellow Grafton representative Rhys Cropper.
BIG WIN: Tyler Gaddes (right) celebrates with teammate and fellow Grafton representative Rhys Cropper. Click InFocus

Gaddes helps lead NSW to Nationals finals

HOCKEY: Emerging Grafton hockey star Tyler Gaddes has enjoyed the perfect start to life as captain of his State side.

Gaddes has led New South Wales on an unstoppable assault in the round fixtures of the Hockey Australia under-13 National Indoor Championships at Goulburn.

Kicking off the championships with a 9-2 drubbing against the ACT, in which the side hit home six unanswered second half goals, NSW continued its momentum to head into today's semi-finals undefeated. But according to Gaddes it has not all been smooth sailing for NSW.

"I know I didn't play that well (on Wednesday) but I feel I have the quality around me to support me,” he said.

"After our big win in the opening game I think we went in with the wrong attitude in our second round clash with Western Australia and we only just escaped with the win.

"I think that proved to be a bit of a wake up call.”

The close call against WA certainly worked for the NSW side, with a few tweaks in their approach resulting in a landslide 12-0 win over Queensland Gold yesterday.

Gaddes was the one who kick-started the rot scoring a goal in the second minute of the clash, while fellow Grafton representative Rhys Cropper scored two in the second half.

"Getting a result like that definitely boosts the spirits, but we know we can still play better than that,” Gaddes said.

"We tried to switch a few things around in the game, we moved a few players around the field and did a bit of trial and error, and now we are set for semi-finals.”

It is the first time Gaddes has captained his State at a national championships, but the natural leader has not taken a backwards step.

"I am enjoying it, it is not all that different to just playing in the side except maybe a bit more responsibility,” he said. "It pushes me to be better at my game and I feed off a lot of the other boys.”

NSW will play South Australia in the semi-final.