“It was a real surprise to make it. I’m not exactly sure what I’m in for, but my goal is to represent New Zealand one day,” Harry Lawson states when asked about being selected in the 34-man Black Sticks squad which will undergo six days of extensive training in Auckland from December 5-10.
Lawson from Lindisfarne College in Hastings is one of three schoolboys picked alongside Malachi Buschel from King’s High School in Dunedin and Connor Greentree from Kristin School in Auckland.
Lindisfarne are hardly world beaters. They finished 25th at Nationals, beating Napier Boys’ High School 4-2 to retain their place at Rankin Cup in 2018.
Lawson’s pedigree has never been in doubt. He played 99 games for his First XI and was captain in 2017. A Central Region under-21 representative when he was 16, Lawson was named Hawke’s Bay Secondary School hockey player of the year in 2016, a title he is likely to reclaim this year. Being the most accomplished player in his team has been both a blessing and a curse.
“Sometimes it’s annoying when your teammates aren’t as serious as you, but I enjoy the challenge of helping younger players get better. It’s hard to get regularly tough competition in a small region like Hawke’s Bay, but when we compete against the likes of Auckland, I get a lot of defensive work against the better teams.” Lawson explains.
Lawson is noted for his resolute defense, but doesn’t see himself exclusively in that capacity.
“I play defense, but have moved into the midfield a bit recently. I would like to think I am a sounder tackler who isn’t afraid to take calculated risks. I enjoy taking players on if the chance arises and it’s good for the team.” Lawson elaborates.
A hockey player since he was 4, Lawson, is also a handy cricketer reaching 2nd XI level at Lindisfarne, unable to commit to the First’s due to hockey commitments.
Lawson has been a Hawke’s Bay age group hockey rep from under-13 Hatch Cup level to under-18s, Lawson believes the biggest rep breakthrough he had was in the Central Region under-21 team which finished fifth in their national competition last year.
“That was a real eye opener playing as a 16 year old, but I did pretty well and it’s motivated me to work harder.” Lawson reveals.
In 2018, Lawson intends to either reside in Auckland or Wellington and undertake a building apprenticeship. His parents are farmers.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand