Northland hockey umpire Trenelle Woods-Eruera was named as one of the sport's most promising umpiring prospects when she received a top award on Saturday.

After spending the week umpiring at the national under-13 girls' Collier Trophy tournament in Wellington, Woods-Eruera, 14, was selected to officiate Saturday's final between Canterbury and Auckland.

To top it off, the Year 10 Kamo High School student was then named the Umpire of the Tournament, beating out 18 other umpires from other associations in New Zealand who attended the competition.

After umpiring over 15 games at the national under-13 hockey tournament in Wellington, Woods-Eruera (centre) officiated the final and then won the top award on Saturday. Photo / Supplied
After umpiring over 15 games at the national under-13 hockey tournament in Wellington, Woods-Eruera (centre) officiated the final and then won the top award on Saturday. Photo / Supplied

While she was surprised to receive the award, Woods-Eruera said she was happy to have done well over the week-long tournament, officiating over 15 games including the final, which was won by Canterbury, 5-1.

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"I was a little bit nervous at the start of the tournament but I was fine after that, getting to know all the other umpires was good," she said.

"[The final] was a really good game, it was back and forth. Auckland just couldn't put the ball in the goal."

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She first started umpiring when she was 9 and was introduced to officiating in local six-a-side games for 7 and 8-year-olds. After two years, Woods-Eruera progressed to umpiring Year 7 and 8 games before this year when she began to umpire Year 9 games.

"I just thought [umpiring] would be fun, it's something different instead of always playing hockey, and to learn the rules better," she said.

"I just remember being nervous before [my first] game and then being like, 'Oh I like doing this', after the game."

The current Kamo High School Year 10 student started umpiring when she was nine years old. Photo / John Stone
The current Kamo High School Year 10 student started umpiring when she was nine years old. Photo / John Stone

A key issue for junior officials in any code is abuse from players and people on the sideline. While she hadn't had to deal with much abuse in Northland, Woods-Eruera said umpires needed to be confident to handle any suspect behaviour.

"You just have to block it out, keep to your gameplan and keep control of the game."

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Woods-Eruera, also a talented hockey player, said she most enjoyed going to new places through umpiring and being able to witness higher levels of hockey.

Former Northland hockey junior umpire programme coordinator Pauline Johnson mentored Woods-Eruera when she first expressed an interest in umpiring. Johnson said she was very happy to see how much the young umpire had achieved.

"To get the gold medal match is no mean feat because you've got huge number of umpires at that tournament," she said.

"[Woods-Eruera] is fit, she knows the game, she's confident and she's willing to listen, those are the attributes you need."

Johnson, who was a former Northland club hockey umpire, said Woods-Eruera had the potential to go far in umpiring if she chose to stick with it.

"[Woods-Eruera] is a very confident young girl and that's grown over the time. She has a good knowledge of hockey and she's progressed quite quickly."