Bendigo netball player Jayden Cowling will represent Victoria at the 2019 Australian Men's and Mixed Netball Association Championships.
He will play in goal attack and wing attack positions in the men's under-23 division, with the Victorian team eager to defend its 2018 championship title this weekend.
"Fingers crossed, hopefully we can go back-to-back," Cowling said.
Victoria men's under-23 team defeated Queensland last year 35-27 for championship rights, but Cowling said this year was going to be a challenge.
"It's going to be super tough," he said.
"Queensland is always a classy unit, a few players have progressed into the open age group - but they also have some great juniors coming through the ranks."
In addition to Queensland, teams from Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales will also compete in the division.
"NSW has a few new players too, they are looking extremely strong and I think they will be the team to beat," Cowling said.
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The Victorian squad will have new additions but will retain five of its players from the 2018 premiership team.
Cowling is the Bendigo Football Netball League's inter-league coach, head coach at Kangaroo Flat Football Netball Club and is Netball Victoria's northern participation coordinator.
With years of experience on and off the court, the sport is one of his main passions.
And competitions such as the championships this weekend, is where he comes together with like minded players who also love the game.
"Men's netball isn't highly recognised across Australia, not yet anyway," he said.
"Hopefully men's netball is going in a direction where it can get higher and higher in popularity.
"This is an important tournament for all of the boys - it's not your typical social netball competition."
The 2019 Australian Men's and Mixed Netball Association Championships will be held in Melbourne at Casey Stadium, from April 21-27.
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