HOCKEY prodigy Thomas Moncrieff will take on the world next month when he heads to Quebec to compete in the 54th edition of the International Peewee Hockey Tournament.
The 11-year-old will represent NSW in the tournament considered the “most important minor hockey tournament in the world”, from February 14-24, with an estimated 200,000 fans in attendance.
Moncrieff said this was the first significant step in his dream of becoming a world-famous hockey player like his heroes Nathan Walker and Wayne Gretzky.
“I’ll be playing against 16 different countries and Canada or Russia will be the best,” Moncrieff said.
“When I grow up I want to be a famous hockey player and maybe be like Nathan Walker, playing in a league when I’m really young.
“The hardest part is skating and getting through the other team’s defence.
‘‘I also want to work on being a better team player and passing the puck around.”
Moncrieff’s first coach, Dave Costa, said the Windsor local was ready to play at the highest level after dominating his local league in Penrith last season.
“Tommy is a key player for our younger team and he has really come a long way in the past five years,” Costa said.
“He’s quick and has got great hands and a really good shot. He’s come a long way as a team player and his leadership skills have really come out.
“The step-up is going to be huge. We only get to train and play once a week and he’ll be competing against kids that train at school and in their backyard, so the step-up will be big for Tommy.
“He’ll probably understand where he’ll want to be in the future and how tough the game really is. Tommy’s a bit of a star in his league and he’ll come up against some kids that are just as good, if not better.”
Moncrieff said he was looking forward to the tournament, which he hopes will be even more exciting than playing at home.
“The best thing about playing hockey for me is that I get to meet a lot of friends and I get coached by different people,” he said.
“It’s also a good sport for exercise. It took about year to be able to skate really well.”