SPITFIRES’ Hugh Cullen says the challenge of taking on the Capital League has made him a better hockey player.
The striker, 20, along with teammates Charley Wallace and Brenton Newnham were last week chosen in the Victorian Country team to play in the national titles in Toowoomba in August.
“The Capital League is a very good competition and the quality is awesome,” Cullen said.
“You measure yourself against these sides and look at the way they play and how you can reach that level.
“The game is so much faster and they do the basics so smoothly at pace.
“When we went back to the Victorian Country Championships last weekend, I wouldn’t say it was easier but you seemed to have so much more time.”
The Spitfires travel to the National Hockey Centre today to play second-placed Old Canberrans.
Cullen, in his first year with the Spitfires, believes natural improvement will see them start to challenge mid-table sides in the second half of the season.
“We copped a hockey lesson from ladder leaders Central, who had several national hockey league players and who have been together for years,” he said.
“But we have started to put together some good patches of hockey in recent games and with time, hard work and experience we will match these teams.”
Coach Matt Smart said he was hoping training form turns into match day performance.
The Spitfires will again be without Josh Pritchard who is nursing a hamstring injury.
“This is a quality opposition but having said that it feels like we are starting to click,” he said.
“I think we have all seen the improvement from week to week.”