THE Northern men's hockey team faces stiff competition in intrastate hockey 9s tournament being played in Hobart today and tomorrow.
The North will take on the North-West and two Southern representative sides with players representing their region of origin.
The North's chances have been boosted by the addition of Kookaburra's player Tim Deavin, while former Kookaburra David Guest will play for the North-West.
``Our chances have definitely improved since we have Tim playing with us,'' Northern coach Jeremy Stebbings said.
``He will bring a few of the players into the game as a centre-midfielder.''
Stebbings said he expected the North-West Coast to be its strongest challenger.
``Because it is region of origin they have got some of their guys who are playing in the Southern competition coming back for them and we have a couple of guys who are Hobart-based who are originally from Launceston and will be playing for us.
``We have Sam Rossetto, Jai Walker-Kidd, Kurt Budgeon, Brett Withington and Jayden Pearson coming back.''
Each regional team meets in a round-robin format with the two top teams playing off for bragging rights in the final.
Regional women's teams will also take part in the tournament with Colin Pearson in charge as coach of the Northern side.