Daniel Sampey is relishing learning a new style of hockey with Fareham this season.
The Aussie arrived from Western Australian side YMCC at the start of the campaign and helped Fareham move up to fourth in the National League Conference West table before the Christmas break.
The 24-year-old forward hopes he can become a better player after his experience on English shores.
‘I’m loving it so far, it’s good fun,’ said Sampey.
‘The main difference in the hockey is these guys are a bit more defensive.
‘The Australian style of hockey is really attacking and our press is full on for the whole game, whereas these guys start from behind the 25 for a 65-yard press and then wait until it goes to one side and then press.
‘In Australia, we’re pressing straight away.
‘It’s a lot more strategic here. You build it up a bit more and hit passes. Teams are a bit more patient.’
Former Fareham ace Jonny Kinder played for YMCC and told Sampey his old club were looking for an overseas player. As a result, the front man jumped at the chance to play abroad.
Sampey said: ‘I’m using it as a chance to experience a new style of hockey, a new country and take what I can back to Perth and hopefully be a better player from that.
‘I want to win matches with Fareham. I come from a winning culture back home so I don’t like losing.’
Fareham have excelled in the first half of the season, winning seven of their opening 11 matches.
Sampey has played six games for the Henry Cort-based side since arriving in October and has found the net six times.
He has also been playing for the indoor squad, who have got through to the division two south stage of the competition, over the winter break.
The Aussie will be with his new side until the end of the season and, when he returns to his homeland, he will go straight back into a new season with YMCC.
Sampey won the league with YMCC in the summer and has been learning his trade with the best in the business – Jamie Dwyer and Eddie Ockenden.
He also played with top-class players in the Australian A team’s tour of China last year and believes it was an invaluable experience for him.
‘Playing with the likes of Matthew Butterini, who’s played for Australia and been in the Olympics, and getting advice from all the guys who have played at the top level was the best experience of my life. It was so good,’ added Sampey.
Hockey is in Sampey’s blood, as both his parents played the sport, while his older sister started playing when she was seven.
‘I really wanted to play hockey and started when I was four,’ he said. ‘I progressed from there and fell in love with it.
‘When I moved to Perth at eight years old, I found YMCC and stayed there my whole life.
‘I used to play AFL but when I was 15 I had to make a choice between football and hockey and I was better at hockey.’