Ethan Anderson was born into a world surrounded by hockey.
His parents Greg and Sally were keen players, making it inevitable that some of his earliest memories as a child are down at the hockey field.
"My brother Declan also plays, so it's definitely a family affair," Anderson laughed.
"I first started playing when I was a six-year-old in the local leagues and then started playing down in Melbourne when I was about 10."
Most recently he has been playing with Essendon's Premier League team and reserves.
"The quality of the players in the league is phenomenal. It's fast-paced and there's no mucking around," Anderson said.
"You're there to play some serious hockey."
Now he is taking his hockey to the level and showcasing his talent as a striker on the international stage.
Anderson and fellow Bendigo player Lachlan Archibald have been selected to play with the Australian Country Under-21 men's squad in a tour of Borneo in early 2020.
"We're good mates. I've played a lot of hockey with him over the years and it's good to be going across to Borneo with him," Anderson said.
Anderson and Archibald were chosen for the team after top performances at a regional competition in Shepparton earlier this year.
It will be the first time both of them have worn the green and gold while representing Australia.
"The nervous butterflies will probably kick in, but once I'm out there on the pitch and get my first touch, it's all game face from there on," Anderson laughed.
Archibald - an all round sportsman who recently received Girton's Caitlin Thwaites Award - only started playing around six years ago.
"I never thought I would represent Australia," Archibald said.
"When I first started it wasn't really a dream of mine, but after I went to some state trials a few years ago it really kick started my career."
In the lead-up to the trip to Borneo, Archibald and Anderson have been doing everything they can to stay in top form.
"I've been doing some pre-season work with the Golden Square Football Netball Club to increase my fitness," Archibald said.
However, there is one factor for the trip which is hard to prepare for back in Bendigo.
"Trying to acclimatise to the heat and humidity will be a struggle, it's just something you can't really prepare for," Archibald said.
Anderson looked forward to playing in a different climate.
"But I don't think my hair is," he laughed.
Their fellow team members come from far and wide across the country, leaving little time before the trip for the players to train together.
"We have played with or against each other during the past few years," Archibald said.
"We all know each other's strengths and weaknesses as players.
"It's going to be great once we're all together as a team over in Borneo ready to hit the pitch."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.