CLOSE CONTACT: Bridget Shepherd (left) in action for Warwick juniors at Tansey.
CLOSE CONTACT: Bridget Shepherd (left) in action for Warwick juniors at Tansey. Carolyn Line

Warwick teen to lead Maroons in cup support competition

POLOCROSSE: Bridget Shepherd will get the chance to captain Queensland for a second time when the Barastoc Interstate Series is played at IOR Morgan Park next week.

She is one of three Southern Downs players in the Queensland girls team, along with Stacey Lamb and Ashleigh Sticklen from the Cunningham club.

Shepherd can claim to have been the youngest fan at the inaugural 2003 World Cup in Warwick.

She was born 10 days before the Cup and turns 16 today, four days before the start of the fifth World Cup.

Many young polocrosse players dream about playing in a World Cup.

But Shepherd keeps coming back to the main reason she plays - having fun.

The Warwick Polocrosse Club member captained a Queensland mixed junior team on a tour to New Zealand earlier this year. Queensland won one game and New Zealand the other but Queensland won the series on a countback.

Next week she will captain the Queensland girls team in a series against New South Wales and Victoria.

For Shepherd it will be her third successive Barastoc Interstate Series.

"It will be more exciting to play for Queensland when the games are part of the World Cup program,” she said.

As with all competitions. Shepherd will be aiming to lead her team to victory but the series will also be a chance to put her name forward for the Queensland intermediate (under 21) women's or mixed teams for next year's nationals at Ballarat in Victoria. This year is her last in the junior ranks.

In 2018, Shepherd won the Queensland Polocrosse Association New Zealand Scholarship for a junior player and spent two weeks billeted with Laura and Nigel Watson at Otorohanga in the North Island of New Zealand.

She is keen to catch up with the Watson family and her New Zealand friends next week at the World Cup and is even thinking of heading across the Tasman for some games in New Zealand early next year.

Shepherd is in her second season riding her six-year-old mare Star Trapeze.

"The plan was to buy a young horse who will take me through the grades,” she said.

Shepherd is a second generation Queensland polocrosse player. Her parents Stuart and Trish both played for Queensland as have some of her uncles, aunts and cousins.

With Warwick being the host club for the World Cup, Shepherd will take her turn at the Clubhouse Cafe next week between state team commitments.

See photos of the eight teams in the World Cup in Saturday's edition and online at www.warwickdailynews.com.au