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Sport

20 June, 2023

Veteran hockey star eyes off world title

A LOCAL hockey player with nearly half a century of experience and two world titles under his belt is looking to claim his third as he plays for the Australian Southern Cross team in the World Masters Hockey European Cup this Friday until 1 July in Valencia, Spain.

By Rhys Thomas

Allan Harris is off to Spain to play in the World Masters Hockey European Cup in the 75+ category.
Allan Harris is off to Spain to play in the World Masters Hockey European Cup in the 75+ category.

A LOCAL hockey player with nearly half a century of experience and two world titles under his belt is looking to claim his third as he plays for the Australian Southern Cross team in the World Masters Hockey European Cup this Friday until 1 July in Valencia, Spain.

Allan Harris started playing hockey when he was 26 after being asked to fill in for a side while he was spectating his partner’s game.

Since then, no one has been able to drag him off the field and the 75-year-old has played in Cairns and on the Tablelands, leading to multiple state and national selections and subsequent world title wins just in the last few years.

He plays centre forward, essentially the striker, and holds a day job as a truck driver – he rides a bike in the mornings which he said keeps him fit enough to keep playing hockey.

He is about to begin a two-week long tournament in Valencia where him and his team will play against representatives from different nations across the world in the 75+ age division.

Germany, Spain, Scotland and the Netherlands are just some of the countries involved in this year’s tournament. This isn’t Harris’s first time on the world stage as he played in three other World Cups including ones in Newcastle and Japan, which Australia won.

Harris says the people involved in the sport is what keeps him coming back year after year.

“I have a love for the game and there are incredible people from all walks of life, doctors, lawyers and others,” he said. When he first started playing 49 years ago, Harris never thought he would one day don maroon to represent Queensland, let alone the green and gold but he is excited to fly across the world and represent his country.

“We are playing against the rest of the world and some of these blokes, we have never seen them play before so it is going to be new,” he said.

Harris and the Southern Cross side will play against multiple countries over the course of the two-week tournament before the semi-finals and finals to decide the 2023 World Masters Hockey European champion.  

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