TO THE TOP: Hervey Bay Hockey’s Phil Taylor has been selected for the Australian Masters squad to contest next year’s Over-35 World Cup in Canberra.
TO THE TOP: Hervey Bay Hockey’s Phil Taylor has been selected for the Australian Masters squad to contest next year’s Over-35 World Cup in Canberra. Valerie Horton

World Cup-bound: Phil Taylor made for Australian Masters'

PHIL Taylor knows wearing the green and gold is a special feeling that can not be replaced, or beaten, by any other.

He had his first experience in our national strip last year for a Trans-Tasman hockey series against New Zealand, which Australia won.

But the 36-year-old is set to perform on an even bigger international stage for his second foray into a national team.

Taylor will represent Australia at next year's Over-35s Masters Hockey World Cup in Canberra alongside Maryborough's Drew Harold and Bundaberg's Scott Whitaker.

All three were part of the Queensland side that reached the National Championships' semi final in Cairns earlier this month.

"It was a little disappointing to fall in the semi final," Taylor said. "We finished third last year.

"There isn't much between the top four teams. New South Wales finished fourth on the ladder and beat Victoria (who beat Qld 4-2 in the semi final) to win the comp."

Compared to the regular Hervey Bay Hockey competition in which Taylor plays for Brothers, Masters is a different style of hockey altogether.

Gone are the naturally fast, younger players who can rely on speed to sprint about, replaced by years of experience and a more tactical approach to the game.

"I would say there is a smarter approach to the game," Taylor said.

"It is still quick, but at O35s you don't have those younger guys sprinting around.

"Those young guys have the natural attributes that come with youth but everyone has to play smarter at Masters."

 The World Cup will be held at the National Hockey Centre, Lyneham, ACT, from March 29 to April 9, 2016.



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