A CROWDED 2019 hockey schedule for Bendigo teenager Declan Anderson will include something added and exciting this week.
The 15-year-old is representing Victoria at the Under-15 Girls and Boys Australian Championships in Narellan, New South Wales, where he is lining up against the cream of the nation's top hockey talent.
It is the second time Anderson, who plays with both the Central Victorian Blazers and Strathdale Hockey Club senior teams, has lined-up for his state.
He represented Victoria two years ago as a top-age player at the under-13 national championships, an experience he expects to hold him in good stead for this week's tournament.
"It's a bit nerve-racking getting on the field the first time at the championships, but this time I will be better prepared," he said.
"From what I learned last time, the tougher teams are normally Western Australia and South Australia, and probably New South Wales.
"I went through the under-13s with most of these guys, they're a good bunch."
Anderson's team-mates include Echuca player Sam Lowndes, with the Victorians opening their campaign on Monday with an impressive 6-0 win over New South Wales B.
The Crusoe College year 9 student has a first-class pedigree for hockey.
His mum Sally has played more than 250-games for the Blazers, represented Victoria Country and won multiple premierships with Strathdale.
Father Greg is a four-time premiership player with the Blazers, and still plays alongside Declan and elder brother Ethan, 18, on weekends.
His state commitments meant Declan missed the start of the Hockey Central Victoria season on the weekend, but he is particularly looking forward to his Blazers commitments on his return from Narellan.
"We've been promoted to the the next level, but the team is looking good. I think we will be okay," Anderson said.
The talented youngster praised the role Strathdale Hockey Club had played in his development.
"I've been there since I was 10 or 11; I've seen lots of premierships and grand finals won," he said.
"It's been a great five or six years.
"Dad has been the greatest influence on me and has been coaching me for ages."
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