Seven Hockey Albury-Wodonga products have been selected in state squads to contest next month's under-18 and under-15 national championships.
Shaun Flanagan (ACT), Oscar Smart (Victoria) and Hayley Hutchinson (ACT) are heading to the under-18 national championships at Hobart from April 9 to 17, while Summer Sutherland is a shadow player for ACT.
Ellie Jarratt (Victoria), Campbell Cull (ACT) and Brayden Mulrooney (ACT) head north to Narellan for the under-15 national titles, held April 8 to 14.
It's the first time Flanagan, 15, has reached a state side and the talented Wodonga Hockey Club goalkeeper is looking forward to the challenge with ACT.
"If you're going to play against the best, you're only going to get better," Flanagan said.
"This is only my third year in goals and because I went pretty high with field as well, I was able to understand how people play a lot easier.
"With field, a lot is about keeping your balance and being able to move with a burst of speed.
"Goalkeeping is about reading players, making sure your structure is holding, but even with saving there's not much you can do differently with covering angles - your saves have to be made in a split second.
"It has to be natural instinct instead of worrying about covering this and that."
Flanagan admitted he is very critical of his own performance and is constantly making small adjustments to the way he plays.
"I need to hold everyone out and make sure people know my presence is felt," he said.
"If someone enters the circle and I can see an opportunity, I'm going to make sure I get the ball and flatten them like a pancake - they need to know I'm there."
Cull, 13, is also debuting at state level with ACT's under-15s.
The CR United export has previously represented Hockey Albury-Wodonga, but admits this is clearly the highlight of his career.
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"We had a two-day trial weekend and there was a squad for four training sessions, before a team of 18 was picked," Cull said.
"In general, I think I've been training well and working hard for it.
"I want to improve on my vision and knowing where everyone is on the pitch."
Cull will be joined by Wodonga junior Mulrooney, 14, in the ACT lineup, who is making his second state appearance having previously been picked in Victoria's under-13s.
"Hopefully we can beat the stronger boys like NSW and Victoria," Mulrooney said.
"I just want to get a bit more consistency."
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