Lithgow local Nathan Marshall has recently been named in the under 15's NSW hockey team.
"I was really happy, the Australian Championships got cancelled last year due to COVID, so I am very excited to be playing at this level again," he said.
Marshall said he practiced his hockey skills every afternoon after school, and worked on his fitness by going for daily runs and sprint practice a few times a week.
"I also train at the Lithgow Hockey fields twice a week with my Dad," he said.
Marshall said that the COVID restrictions haven't really impacted his training schedule.
"It actually gave me more time to train, I did miss playing competitive games during this time though," he said.
The NSW team has two weekends of training coming up, one in Bathurst on the same weekend as the Premier League Hockey Gala Day and one at Nepean Hockey fields. "I am really looking forward to the hockey season starting again and I am hoping to play in the Lithgow Premier League team this year," he said.
"I am going to trial for the under 16 Combined Catholic Schools team in March, so I would like to do well in both of these."
Marshall plays free defender, centre mid or attacking mid but said he liked to play in the mid field.
Marshall made the Blues team last year, so he set himself the goal of working towards making the State Team this year.
"I'm looking forward to playing against high quality opponents and challenging myself," he said. "I really like being part of the team and playing under new coaches."
Marshall plays in Lithgow on the weekends, as well as in Parkes.
"Parkes has allowed me to play with them in their district teams since I was 12," he said.
"I really enjoy playing with Parkes and have made some great friends in this time."
Marshall said he needed to thank his parents for all of their support and encouragement.
"Also to my sisters who are always happy to hit hockey balls with me and help me to practice," he said. "Finally my sponsor, Mazon Hockey who have provided me with new sticks and hockey gear over the years."