Perth is the home of hockey in Australia and, in November, four Goulburn Valley Hockey Association talents will head there to compete in a junior international tournament.
Shepparton’s famous hockey exports Louise and Christine Dobson both trained there in preparation to become Olympians, and now more young stars are looking to rise up the ranks.
Shepparton Youth Club’s Kyle Said, Euroa’s Andy Williams, Benalla’s Evan Dowe and Echuca-Moama’s Tayden Monigatti will represent a joint Victoria and NSW side at the FHE Cup.
Japan and Malaysia will also be a part of the competition in November and Kyle, 15, was thrilled to be taking part.
‘‘It’s going to be challenge because they’re a whole different level of hockey in those other countries, but I’m looking forward to the challenge,’’ he said.
‘‘The way they play will be much different to the way they play here.’’
The four Goulburn Valley Hockey Association players may be rivals in the local league, but have spent plenty of time in representative sides together.
All were invited to a Melbourne trial from which they were selected in the final team.
It is another big step for Kyle, who changed from football to hockey just three years ago.
Joining his sister Skye, who was already playing the sport, the Saids are a prominent family at SYC with younger brother Ryan and parents Richard and Therriesa also playing.
Even though he only began playing three years ago, Kyle has already seen improvements in the GVHA.
‘‘It’s more competitive now than when I first started and it’s taken a bit more seriously which is good because I like a bit of competition,’’ he said.
Last year Kyle stepped into A-grade for the first time, and is now a regular player in the top tier where he is no stranger to finding the back of the net.
A talented cricketer during the summer, he has no regrets about making hockey his main winter sport.
‘‘It’s just a different sort of game, you get to hit the ball around and because I play cricket as well I’m used to using a bat or a stick,’’ Kyle said.
The four will be hoping to bring some glory to the joint Victorian/NSW side and help the GVHA shine on an international stage.