A Bendigo-based hockey team has been formed under an amalgamation of several central Victorian teams.
The North West Lightning competes in State League One, with the team's goal to retain the region's top athletes.
"It's tailored around trying to keep the best players here and stay local rather than venturing off to Melbourne," coach Jordan Tamblyn said.
"We have shifted from Vic League three up to League One, so now we're playing directly under the Premier League."
The players' dedication to hockey is more than evident, with some travelling up to four hours to attend weekly training sessions.
The team is comprised of players from Bendigo, Shepparton, Echuca, North Central, Swan Hill and all the way to Mildura.
The move into the new league will give the team greater experience competing against highly experienced hockey players.
North West Lightning player Nathan Davis looks forward to the team's opportunity to play against top players.
"This is our chance to step up and hopefully one day make it into the Premier League," Davis said.
"And one day, you never know we might land a premiership."
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