Ipswich talent makes two state teams
JUNIOR World Cup prospect Layla Eleison is looking for a job as she prepares for what could be one of the busiest years of her life.
With a keen interest in fitness and fashion, she'd welcome a "9 to 3'' position so she can continue her heavy hockey program.
Having finished year 12 at St Mary's College, Eleison is making a concerted effort to see how far she can advance in her favourite sport.
The Ipswich product's months of hard work were rewarded with selection in the Queensland under 21 side preparing for the national titles in Sydney from April 10-17.
After earlier making the Queensland under 18 team, she'll also represent her state at the Australian championships in Launceston (July 8-17).
"It's all worthwhile, all the training I've done now,'' she said of her recent successes.
The dedicated and skilful 17-year-old literally has the world at her feet with qualifiers for the Junior World Cup in India later this year.
However, before chasing her dream of securing future Australian under-21 selection, Eleison is focusing on almost daily training with the Queensland Academy of Sport squad and extra sessions in Ipswich.
She appreciates the support of Ipswich Hockey's regional coaching director Sam Spry and QAS coach Des King in Brisbane.
"It's incredible,'' she said of the higher level coaching she has gained access to.
"Compared to Ipswich, it is just so full on.
"The QAS has definitely had a big impact on my life so far.''
Eleison hopes to continue playing for Ipswich club side Hancock Brothers when she can this season after sharing in the team's 2015 premiership success.
However, being recognised as a player with immense promise, she'll also make a commitment to play for Easts in this year's Brisbane competition.
She's lining up in this weekend's Tiger Turf Cup pre-season competition.
"At the end of this year, I'd like to make the Australian Futures squad, which is the Australian under 21 squad,'' she said.
"Hopefully I can work towards that.''
Eleison, who turns 18 in September, was chosen for last year's Australian Schoolgirls tour to Europe.
She expects to play an attacking midfield role with the Queensland under 18 and under 21 sides.
Spry said Eleison deserved her success given her work ethic.
"She's sitting on that fringe of the QAS, which is excellent,'' Spry said.
Apart from terrific coaching support, Eleison is thankful for the backing of her parents Brendan and Deb and St Mary's College sports co-ordinator Glenn Carpenter.
"My friends and family are giving me a lot of motivation,'' she said.
"The teacher I had at school Glenn Carpenter inspired me to keep living my hockey dream because he wants to see me at the Olympics in a few years time.''
Ipswich Wests A-grade and Toowoomba competition affiliated player Jade Emblem was also chosen in the 18-strong Queensland under 21 women's team.
Former Ipswich competition regular Jarrod Brown, from Yamanto, was picked in the state under 21 men's side. Brown plays for Easts in the Brisbane competition.
Hancock Brothers duo Cade Banditt and Kai Douglas were named shadows for the Queensland under 21s.
The men's national under 21 championships are also in Sydney at the same time.
Ipswich hockey player Layla Eleison
- Age: 17.
- Club: With Hancock Brothers Hockey Club since she was five.
- Nickname: Moose, after Australian midfielder Aran Zalewski.
- Recent successes: Selection in Queensland under 21 and under 18 sides for national titles this year.
- Favourite foods: Greens and Asian.
- Pre-game ritual: "I don't like putting my socks on until I'm in the change room.''
- Why love hockey: "It's been in my family and I enjoy making friends out of it.''