Ellie Purtell has represented her state in the past but after pushing herself to work harder there's immense satisfaction in earning another NSW selection.
Purtell, who's previously featured in both Dubbo and NSW under 13 and under 15 representative teams, will make the step up and play for the NSW Blues under 18s during April's national tournament in Launceston.
The national competition will take place from April 16-24 with Purtell earning selection after a series of trials with the NSW Hockey Athlete Acceleration Program (AAP).
"It was pretty nerve-wracking," she said of the process.
"Just like the last time when I trialled for the 15s, I wasn't actually selected into AAP the first time around, but I got brought into it afterwards.
"I had three trials in Sydney with the selectors there and the whole time I was pretty nervous."
Despite the fact that the nerves and the pressure don't feel much different, Purtell does believe her development as a player in recent years will serve her well in the step up in competition.
"I feel like I've pushed myself a bit more and that I'll be able to perform in the under 18s team and in my age group as well, I think I've definitely pushed myself and improved my skills quite a bit more," Purtell said.
While the formidable striker has had some time away from the NSW Blues lineup, she's been plenty active in the Central West scene, with a title win for Parkes Division 2 team and starring roles for Dubbo and the Orange Confederates.
Despite being confident with how she'll perform in the firing line up front with the two girls she'll partner with as strikers, Purtell is still wary of underestimating the competition at the national level.
"It's going to be very, very tough. There's a lot of girls out there that I know of that are very talented and others, I think it's going to be a real challenge to send those goals into the back of the net," Purtell said.
"It's going to be a lot faster of game. Making the step up in age group, it'll be tougher, but then again a lot of the girls I'll be playing against are girls I played against in the 15s so I'll have an understanding of what to expect."
Queensland won both the men's and women's under 18s titles last year but Purtell doesn't want to only put her side back on top, she also wants to do regional areas proud.
"Especially when you've made the state team, there's a lot of expectation, people do put that pressure on you, but it's alright, I know how to handle it," Purtell said.
"I really love seeing the regions get involved, I think all the western kids should be trying it out.
"We might not have the facilities here that the Sydney kids do but we're still making it and getting into the state teams, which just shows how well we're doing."