LEVI Beard didn't enjoy the two-day road trip to Bendigo for the boys under-12 PSSA national hockey titles, but it was worth it in the end when he won gold with New South Wales.
The Blues drew 1-all with Western Australia in the sixth and final match of the tournament which meant both teams were awarded as winners.
While Beard missed two matches due to illness he also found the back of the net in their opening-round clash with South Australia.
"We went really well; we won and it was a really fun tournament, but it was a really long drive," he said.
"They (Western Australia) took home the trophy, but we got gold medals.
"I scored one goal in the first game which was definitely the highlight for me."
The 11-year-old said he learned the importance of playing his role for the team over the five-day tournament.
"I like to play as part of a team and learned I'm not the most important player in the team," he said.
"When I play at my club I can play as a team and not be the one that has to do everything."
He played mainly as a defender and said he was aiming to make the same team again next year in Canberra.
"I know what to expect next time; it was the first time I'd been there it wasn't quite as hard as I thought but was still pretty tough," he said.
It means the travel distance is only half as far next time.
"I'd like to make that team next year and it's not quite as far," he said.
"I was pretty happy with how I went this time."
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