LYN Tucker may not have been on the field for Queensland's open women's Indoor Hockey Australian Championships team but Thursday's drought-breaking success was just as sweet on the sideline.
Tucker managed the victorious Queensland outfit, which beat New South Wales 5-3 in the gold medal match.
The side boasted three Maryborough players - Eva Golusin, Trudi Pedersen and Stefany Worner - and lost just one game on their way to the championship.
Queensland's triumph was not only a slice of history, but was also a reward for years of hard work.
"For our Queensland team there definitely has been (changes)," she said.
"It's been a rebuilding process for a good 10 years, and there were a few years we didn't go, but it's been a lot of rebuilding and hard work by the girls and others.
"It's very special to know all that hard work is starting to pay off."
Tucker said the Maryborough trio held their own in the fast-paced game, and said the Queensland team had a solid mix of top-quality players.
It meant the team did not drop their standard even after the starting side were replaced, which allowed Queensland to dictate terms on the field, and score at will.
"The girls trained really well and they held their own out there," Tucker said.
"Indoor is quite fast; you sub every one or two minutes, but everyone was on the same level."
Pedersen's experience with the Australian side shone through as the 22-year-old leader played a stronger role than ever before.
"Her strength and being able to read the play were big differences," Tucker said.
"She was part of the leadership group. She's grown so much over the last few years with her experience and it's given her that extra little bit.
"She's a great kid, if I can call her that."
Pedersen partnered Worner in defence, a combination that conceded fewer goals than any other side, while Golusin was perfect in her role.
"We had a team plan and she played her role really well, and was strong in both attack and defence," Tucker said. "Stef played in defence with Trudi and they're both very strong: not much gets past them.
"They all grow so much over the four days and just got better with each day."
Road to glory
7-2 v South Australia
10-2 v Tasmania
9-0 v Victoria
0-1 v New South Wales
2-2 v Western Australia
2-1 v ACT
2-2 v ACT
5-3 v New South Wales
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