THIS year's Olympics may be a bridge too far, but Wagga hockey product Dylan Martin is hopeful his Australia A selection can help him achieve his Kookaburras dream.
The 22-year-old has been chosen in a 14-man team to play Belgium in a four-match series in Sydney, beginning Tuesday.
It is the defender's first senior cap in the green and gold after a handful of appearances for the national under-21 squad, and he is hellbent on a strong display to stay on the selector's radar.
Martin, who helped NSW Pride to the inaugural Hockey One title last year, feels this year's Olympics is too soon to press his claims, but wants to put himself in the picture after Tokyo.
"It will be a good opportunity on which I can base my year on," Martin said.
"It shapes as a good into to post-2020 Olympics as well, so hopefully I can put in a good performance.
"Realistically post-Olympics will definitely be my goal. There'll be a few players who will retire and others that go out of the side before the following Olympics.
"That will be a big period for me."
Martin will get the chance to play alongside a handful of experienced Kookaburras players who missed selection for the upcoming FIH Pro League.
"It's obviously a step toward the national team and Australia A will have a few of the Kookaburra playing as well," he said.
"It's good to have the realisation that I'm close to where I need to be.
"Belgium are one of the best teams in the world by far in how they play tactically, the effort they put into it and the class they bring."
Martin represented Australia in under-21 level at the Sultan of Johor Cup in October, and was one of the youngest players picked in Hockey Australia's 2020 Men's 2020 Development Squad named last month.
"These matches are a great and rare opportunity for the development players selected to test themselves against quality European competition," Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said.
"The depth of Australian hockey at the moment - we have a number of players who can fill 18 spots and it's very competitive."