Melton Hockey’s next generation will be on show at the Junior State Championships in July.

Gabe Cumming, Grace Downes and Chloe Schwarze have all been named in the North West Metro Tigers teams for the tournament which pits the best players in the state against other.

For two of the three, it will be their first time at the championships, while Schwarze is returning to the competition after missing last year.

Mustangs chairman Royce Schwarze said it was a wonderful result for the players and the club.

“It is really good for them,” he said.

“What they learn is massive as they’re playing against the best players in the state.

“They see how competitive everyone is and they can bring it back to the club

“You can’t get this experience at the local level.”

For 17-year-old Schwarze, the championships are a moment she’s been looking forward to.

She was part of the gold-medal winning team in 2017, but had to watch it all from the sidelines last year.

Two days out from the championships she hurt her knee, which ruled her out of trying out for last year’s team.

Schwarze has been playing senior hockey since 2012, including making her top-side debut in 2015.

Her father said she was excited to go back and try and win another gold medal, this time in the under-18s.

“Chloe is especially excited,” Royce Schwarze said.

“She was keen to go back and make amends after missing out last year. She’s made a lot of good friends in the last six years.”


Chloe Schwarze, Gabe Cumming and Grace Downes. Picture Mark Wilson

For Downes and Cumming it will be a new experience.

Downes, who will play in the under-13s, has made the team in her first try.

Downes made her senior debut with the club last season, playing in both their Vic League 2 side and metro B north-west team.

Schwarze said it was great to see young players such as Downes playing at state level and with the senior sides at the club.

Cumming, who is still playing in under-16s at the Mustangs, made his senior debut this season in the men’s metro B north-west side.

The 16-year-old has been named in the under-18 Tigers team.

Schwarze said he believed it was the first time the goalkeeper had tried out for the team.

He said it was tougher for the boys to make state teams.

“We’ve had a couple of boys make the side in recent years, but it’s tough with a lot of the boys who try out for our zone are state reps.

“It means that there’s only two or three spots available.”

Schwarze said all the young talent at the club was encouraging for the future. He said seeing players at the higher level, would encourage more players to try out to make those teams.

Meanwhile on the weekend, the Melton’s men’s Vic League 3 side had a 3-2 win against RMIT.

Steve Lawrence scored two goals, while Teejay Lawrence scored the other goal.

Melton’s Masters side had an easy 8-1 win at home against Melbourne High School Old Boys, while the metro men’s side had a 3-1 win.