Wagga hockey young gun Dylan Martin has enjoyed an impressive debut Australian Hockey League campaign with the Canberra Lakers, despite the team’s results not going his way.
The Lakers, who drafted the 19-year-old after he missed out on NSW selection, won just one of their nine games to finish eighth in the 10-team competition.
But Martin held his own in defence against some of the best players in the country.
After reflecting on the tournament, which wrapped up on Sunday in Perth, Martin said the elite level of the competition meant he was forced to take his game to new heights.
“Everyone is so fit, fast and strong that even the smallest mistakes are punished,” Martin said.
“Playing against some of the best players in the game is always going to be a great experience.”
Lakers team manager Brent Davies was very complimentary of Martin’s showing once the dust had settled.
“Dylan went very well and he got better as the tournament went on,” he said.
“He was having to fit into a new team and a whole new structure at the last minute, but he managed to fit in really well.”
Davies said Martin may even be playing so well that his ACT-based team might not be able to retain him for next year’s competition.
“We absolutely want him back but I expect he’ll make the NSW team next year,” he said.
“But if he doesn’t, he’ll be more than welcome here.”