Carly James is not one to put forecasts on her hockey career.
The modest potential future Hockeyroo prefers to live in the now and make the most of every moment she gets on the hockey field.
You have to go to outside sources to get a picture of James’ potential in the game.
The ultimate endorsement of her talent comes in the form of selection in the Australian national junior women’s squad, which identifies athletes capable of progressing to the senior program as future Hockeyroos.
The appraisal does not get much bigger for a 20-year-old Footscray Hockey Club defender.
“It was pretty humbling to be put into this squad,” James said. “I never expected to be named or identified for it.
“It’s going to really help develop me as a player.
“I’ll get to learn what the best players at this age in the country do, how they train, how they prepare and even just learning different skills off other defenders and add it into my game.”
While Hockey Australia plans the make up of its squads years before the players make the grade, James is more concerned about the here and now and doing the one-per centers to keep on improving.
The full-back simply wants to better herself every day, whether it be on the defensive line for Footscray in the premier league, the Victorian Vipers in the Australian Hockey League or the Australian under-age team, or even in her physical education and sports science studies at Victoria University.
“I’ve always been someone who has always gone week by week,” James said.
“My thing has always been to just enjoy my hockey.
“Since being selected in the futures, I might have to start thinking longer term!”
The other glowing endorsement of James’ game was her selection to the Victorian Vipers squad last week.
It will be James’ first open age state representative gig, though donning the Big V is certainly not foreign territory for her, having been involved in most under age Victorian teams growing up.
“It was nice to be named in the Vipers squad of 22,” she said.
“I’ll get to work with some of the girls who have been in the Hockeyroos squad.”
James, who lives in Point Cook, has been influential at state and local level this season.
She has marshalled a young Footscray defence with aplomb in the premier league and is one of the keys to their premiership chances.
Her performances for the bronze medal-winning Victorian under-21s at the nationals put her on the radar of the Australian junior national women’s squad.
“It’s been a pretty big year for me this year,” James said.
James is the August nominee for the Don Deeble Rising Star award.
The award, hosted by the Sunshine Western Region Sports Club and
Star Weekly, recognises young athletes from the western suburbs who have achieved outstanding results at state and/or national levels.
James will receive $1000, donated by the Yarraville Club Cricket Club, and other prizes to assist her in achieving her sporting goals.