SHEARWATER'S Lucy Wootton credits being given the opportunity to play in a senior competition over the past three years for helping her selection in the Australian under-16 hockey team.
The 15-year-old has played for three years with West Devonport in the Greater Northern League and gone on to represent Tasmania at under-16 and under-18 level.
She was co-captain of the Tasmanian team that competed in the School Sport Australia's tournament in Adelaide two weeks ago when the national team was announced.
"I was really excited to get picked and it hasn't really sunk in yet," she said.
The Australian team will travel to Germany next May for an international tournament against the likes of Argentina, France and Germany.
Lucy was just as excited for her Tasmanian teammate Annabelle Scutt, of Hobart, who was also selected in the team.
"Annabelle and I travelled together to Perth last year for a tournament and now we'll be travelling partners overseas," she said.
Lucy, a year 10 student at St Brendan-Shaw College, originally played basketball but was introduced to hockey by West Devonport coach Leanne Bissett six years ago.
"I can thank Leanne and the West Devonport club for everything.
"I started out playing division 3, but kept being given the opportunity to step up, and playing against older women has really helped my hockey."
Wootton said she would like to reach the highest level possible in hockey and her hero is Australian Hockeyroo midfielder Casey Eastham.
She is considering moving to Europe after high school to try her luck in the strong women's competitions.
Lucy comes from a family steeped in sport with her father, Shane, well known in cricket circles, and grandmother Kath Wootton, one of Tasmania's top lawn bowlers.
Her mother, Michelle, was a hockey player and is the daughter of East Devonport premiership footballer Wayne Duggan.