Natasha Farrier joined the Brisbane Goannas for the 2012/13 AWIHL season as a playing Co-Head Coach. Quite a role. As Craig Tonks discovered, there has been a lot of passion and hard work involved in Farrier’s successful move north.
Craig Tonks :: When did you start playing ice hockey?
Natasha Farrier :: I started playing Ice Hockey at 14. I had some background with Inline Hockey but once my parents gave me the “one or the other” talk I stuck with Ice Hockey.
CT :: What do you love about the sport?
NF :: I love the team aspect. I love the opportunities to travel around the world. The sport isn’t big in Australia but there is a greater opportunity to represent your country. Hockey is just a great game.
CT :: What was your journey through the junior ranks?
NF :: I started playing state level almost right away in the Women’s league and with the boys up until Bantam age. The journey for me really started after my experience at the IIHF girl’s development camp in Finland when I was 14. From there I have played (as a junior up until last year) with the Senior Women’s Australian Team (2005 – 2012).
CT :: Is there anyone who has been a major influence on your career?
NF :: There have been so many major influences during my hockey journey in Australia and in different parts of the world. These are just a few.
Tamra Jones has been and still is a major influence for me. She was the first person to get me out to play Ice Hockey for South Australia. Started from when I was 14 years old until now, I have been coached by Tamra, played for and against her, and now she is my mentor coach. This year is the first year of my mentorship and she has allowed me to join the Goannas as Co-Head Coach. I am also working with her as a support staff with the U18 Australian Women’s Team. Not only has she provided me opportunity as a hockey player she is still supporting me on my journey as a coach.
Kathy Berg from Canada was my first coach with the Australian Team in 2005 (in South Africa). Kathy allowed me to have the opportunity to train at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Canada. She worked there with some of the Canadian Women’s Olympic and National Team players which played in a team at the training facility. That was the time where I really learnt about the benefits of training off of the ice.
Rocky Padjen is another of many. I have been coached by Rocky since 2007 until my last world championships in Slovenia 2012. He has been influential for me as a female Hockey player in Australia. He has so much passion for the game. I can’t really think of many more male figures in Australian Ice Hockey that have put as much time towards Women’s Hockey as him.
CT :: What has been your own career highlight?
NF :: I can’t pick one because there are so many great memories.
One would have to be playing in Canada for Mount Royal University Cougars in the 2010/11 season.
In an individual sense at national level I would say receiving the Best Forward Award at IIHF World Championships 2007 in Sheffield, England, and again at the IIHF World Championships 2011 in Newcastle, Australia.
For Team Australia, 2007 was a great year for us as we won gold against the Poms in their own country at the IIHF World Championships.
CT :: Is it important to put back into the sport? (coaching, mentoring ect)
NF:: I think this is one of the most important aspects. Mid last year was the first time I really stood back and realised how much I had gained from this sport. I felt it was time that I started putting back into it. Hence the mentorship program with Tamra Jones, coaching role with the Goannas and support staff role with the U18 Australian Women’s Team. There are a lot of players that are now putting back into the sport and sharing their knowledge and experience with the younger generation of players. I hope more do it as well.
CT :: Who is your favourite hockey player or team to watch play? (here or o/s)
NF :: I would have to say the Calgary Flames purely because THAT’S MY TEAM. NHL hockey is great to see live whatever the team. The atmosphere and culture of the sport in Canada and the US is amazing.
CT :: What are your goals for this season?
NF:: Well one of our goals for the Goannas was to notch a win this season, which we did against the Sirens. Our broader goal is to be competitive every game from here on out. Our team has so much fight and belief. Bring on finals we say!
CT :: Any advice for young girls out there striving to make it to the AWIHL
NF :: You can do it. Find the thing that drives you. Whatever that thing is keep it in your mind every day. Want to be the best you can possibly can be and do whatever it takes to make it happen.
by Craig Tonks
[twitter-follow username=”Cray70″ scheme=”dark”]
[twitter-follow username=”HewittSports” scheme=”dark”]