Maureen Massey and Denise Gersbach to play in 2020 Masters Hockey World Cup

WHAT A WEEK: Parkes master hockey players Denise Gersbach and Maureen Massey returned home from the 2019 Women's National Championships on the Gold Coast with gold and silver medals, and an Australian selection. Photo: Submitted
WHAT A WEEK: Parkes master hockey players Denise Gersbach and Maureen Massey returned home from the 2019 Women's National Championships on the Gold Coast with gold and silver medals, and an Australian selection. Photo: Submitted

When it comes to experience in major tournaments, Parkes' master hockey players Maureen Massey and Denise Gersbach have plenty of it.

And they will be relying on that come next September when the pair head to Cape Town in South Africa for the 2020 Masters World Cup.

Massey and Gersbach on Sunday were named in Australian teams to compete at the World Cup following their gold and silver performances at nationals that concluded on Saturday.

The duo returned to the Gold Coast Hockey Centre for the 2019 Hockey Australia Women's National Championships on September 26, after competing and winning there just four months earlier in the Trans Tasman Series.

NSW's campaign saw both Massey's Over 65s and Gersbach's Over 45s sides qualify for the finals on the last day.

As goalkeeper, Massey won her games 1-0 over Victoria and Western Australia, 2-0 and 4-0 over ACT, and 3-0 in another match with Victoria, and drew 0-all in the second match against Western Australia.

NSW met Western Australia in the gold medal match.

The score was drawn at 0-all at the end of regular time, sending the match into a penalty shootout that saw NSW win 3-1 and Massey starring in goals.

Gersbach, a mid-fielder, won 8-0 and 9-0 against ACT, 2-1 in both matches against Western Australia, and 3-0 and 2-0 over Victoria.

Queensland proved to be NSW's toughest opponent in the 45s, with the teams drawing 2-all in their first match and NSW going down 1-0 in the second.

Gersbach managed to score two field goals during the tournament.

It was the final against Queensland that was the most shattering for the NSW 45s, who going into the match only needed to win or draw to claim gold.

With scores locked at 0-all and just seven minutes remaining, Queensland slipped through the NSW defence to score, forcing its southern neighbours to settle for a silver medal.

Gersbach and Massey said they are thrilled to be selected in the Australian 45s and inaugural 65s teams respectively.

The pair were both members of the Australian Wattles teams in the 2016 World Cup in Canberra, which were Australia's additional sides formed to even numbers in different age groups.

While Gersbach is classing the 2020 tournament as her first official field hockey World Cup representation, she was a member of the inaugural Australian teams to play in the Indoor Masters World Cup in Hong Kong in February this year, where she returned with a bronze medal.

Massey will be gearing up for her fourth World Cup, having represented Australia in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 2014 with the inaugural 60s Australian Women's team, winning gold; Canberra in 2016; and Barcelona, Spain in 2018, claiming bronze.

"I'm feeling really excited about my selection in the inaugural Over 65s World Cup Australian team, and also very proud of winning the gold [at nationals], especially after another penalty shootout," Massey said.

"The goalies are under a lot of pressure.

"In our final on Saturday I could not believe it was going to another penalty shootout against WA as it was a repeat from last year against Victoria."

Massey and Gersbach will be heading to South Africa for the 2020 Masters World Cup from September 19-29.

The tournament has grown to a record size over the years, with the 2018 World Cup attracting 2000 players in Terrassa and more than 1200 players in Barcelona - its largest yet.

World Masters Hockey (WMH), the governing body of masters hockey, has split the 2020 tournaments across three countries to offer more nations the prospect of hosting these events.

After reviewing the bids submissions, WMH have set the dates for the 2020 World Cup, with the majority of age groups heading to South Africa from September 19-29, the Over 35s and Over 40s men and women heading to England in August and men in the 60s to 75s going to Japan in October.

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