BANGKOK-BOUND: Aldridge State High School volleyball players Lachlan Ward, Kyal Moore and Dean Cunningham are one step away from national selection for the Thailand U21 Men’s Volleyball Championships.
BANGKOK-BOUND: Aldridge State High School volleyball players Lachlan Ward, Kyal Moore and Dean Cunningham are one step away from national selection for the Thailand U21 Men’s Volleyball Championships. Alistair Brightman

Trio serves up international cup hopes

A FLIGHT to the Thailand Under-21 Men's Volleyball Champs in Bangkok could be in the future for three Maryborough teenagers.

Lachlan Ward, Kyal Moore and Dean Cunningham were three of six Maryborough volleyball players to be invited to the Australian Junior Development Volleyball Camp after the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup.

The 117 players and 22 coaches trained at Bendigo for five days, and from that a 38-man squad was named for the tour.

Ward, Moore and Cunningham all made the cut, but there is a nervous wait - and a few months of extra training - before 10 more players are cut from the final squad.

All three are products of Aldridge State High School's Volleyball Excellence program, which won two medals (silver and bronze) at the Schools Cup in Melbourne.

While for Ward and Cunningham it will be the first time they have travelled overseas for sport, Moore was part of this year's touring team.

"It's interesting seeing other parts of the world," he said. "It was strange. You'd have these young guys arrive in the military uniforms and change into their gear."

The Australian development squad is disadvantaged by their ages.

The competition is open to U21 teams, though Australia uses the tournament as an opportunity to give its U17s a chance to perform at the higher level.

Moore, 16, started playing volleyball at Aldridge four years ago and has become one of the team's key players on the court.

The addition of Ward, 16, and Cunningham, 15, makes for a dangerous triumvirate that will have one more year together at the Maryborough school.

One poor match was all that halted their push for gold at the Schools Cup, and the trio wants nothing more than to finish on a high.

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