RYAN Simpson is the latest Dubbo junior hockey star to continue the strong tradition of achieving high level representative honours.
Simpson will travel to Darwin next month to take part in the under-13s National Championships after being chosen to represent his state.
The Dubbo youngster, who actually plays for Parkes due to Dubbo's lack of a local under-13s side, is hopeful this is just the first step on the way to achieving his dream.
"I want to play for the Kookaburras," he said, before saying what he expects from playing at Darwin.
"It's going to be hard and very hot too but a very high standard."
Simpson's mother Nikki, secretary of Dubbo hockey and also a local coach, couldn't be more pleased for her son but said it was another indicator of the growth of hockey in this area.
The likes of Emma Corcoran, Phoebe Bloink Hollier, Lilli Campbell and Samuel Mould are just some of the Dubbo players who have recorded representative honours in recent times and Simpson said the increase in quality coaching has been a big reason behind that.
"I'm very proud, he was in the squad last year but missed out so he went and did a lot of training this year and has made the team," she said.
"We were unlucky this year the under-13s didn't have a team so Ryan has had to go to Parkes but we're doing a lot of work with the juniors and with our regional coaching coordinator, Kate Pulbrook, too and that has all assisted with helping these kids go through."
Ryan highlighted the efforts of Matt Waters, Mould and Pulbrook as people who have helped his game go to another level and his mother agreed they have all had an impact on his game.
"He trains with the Premier League team on Mondays," she said.
"He's a bit too young to play and size-wise he's not just there yet but between that and working with Simon Allen and the under-15 boys has helped a lot.
"He's playing with the men too, the A-grade on Wednesday nights and the B-grade and that I think that has toughened him up a bit, on the ball he's stronger now."
The under-13s National Championships runs from September 25 to October 2 at Darwin.