A FEW years ago, Andrew Woodgate grew tired of watching older brother Michael play hockey and picked up a stick himself.
It's reaped dividends after the pair and fellow Wagga Hockey product Lachlan Chyb were chosen in NSW teams to compete in national championships next week.
Andrew and Chyb will feature in the under-13 team at Newcastle, while Michael's three year wait to get an under-18 call-up will end at Cairns.
The 17-year-old has travelled around the countryside to get himself ready to wear the sky blues.
"I've been in the under-18 side for three years now so I'm pretty excited to be selected," Michael said.
"About every two weeks we go up to Sydney to train on the weekends. I've been training four or five nights a week and do a running and strength and conditioning program.
"Whenever I can I go to Sydney or Canberra or Albury, do extra training and extra games and get as much out of it as I can."
Three players selected from Wagga in one year is almost unprecedented, and Michael said it shows the program is bearing fruit.
"It's pretty good for the association, a lot of juniors can see you can take the steps up," he said.
"A lot of people put in a lot of hard work to help us and there's been a lot of improvement in the juniors as well, which hopefully will lead to bigger things in coming years."
Andrew is a goalkeeper and said having an older brother to hurl shots at him has helped his development.
"I'm a goalie and he's always had a good shot. It's good training with him, then you get to the next levels and it feels like they're not hitting it that hard.
"I was in the state development team last year and I was a bit nervous, but this time I just see it as another tournament with the boys."
Chyb is still just 13, but was hopeful he would receive a state call-up.
"I was hoping I'd get the call this year," he said.
"I'm looking forward to the experience and playing the best players from other states."
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