Lucy Frame is like a little kid at Christmas. With good reason.
After years of yearning to, the Tamworth hockey product is getting ready to pull on the NSW blue for the first time.
Frame is currently in Albany preparing with the NSW women's side for their Hockey Australia Country Challenge campaign.
"I'm really excited, it's my first state team so really pumped," she said.
It is a story of persistence. She has been trying to make a NSW team since she was about 13. But yet while being part of squads, she has missed out when it comes to final selections.
She will have a familiar face alongside her with long time training partner Oliver McGill making his debut for the men's side.
The two have been training together for "three or four years" and Frame said it will be nice to now represent NSW together.
Her current excitement is a contrast to the "defeated" feeling after the state open championships, from which the side was selected.
It was a tough tournament for Tamworth and Frame thought that was probably her chances done.
"I wasn't even going to check the team list," she admitted.
Fortunately her mum did.
Frame was driving back to Newcastle, where she is studying occupational therapy, when she called to let her know the happy news. Not that she initially believed her.
"I swore at her a bit, and I was like you're lying, not funny, not a good joke," she said.
The 19-year old is the second youngest in the side and one of two players on debut. The other is Hockey New England's Caitlyn Low.
She has been playing hockey since she was three.
"My family were very involved; grandfather, aunty and uncles, dad all played," she said.
"Mum even played with me."
They had a year together with South United her first year coming up from juniors, which was "really nice".
For McGill, the selection was the icing on top of what was a first state championships to remember with Tamworth winning their maiden title.
"Opens was awesome to say the least, and I'm looking forward to this one," he said.
Last year part of the NSW under-18s side that won gold in Tasmania, he said he is looking forward to "playing that high level hockey again".
"Going away with the NSW team has been good in the past and playing that high stakes, high level hockey is always good," he said.
Currently on a gap year, it will be a homecoming of sorts.
McGill spent the formative years of his life in Western Australia.
And it's where he will spend the next stage of his life with plans to return west next year for uni.
"Just for the fun of it, go somewhere different," he said about why all the way over there.
Looking to study a bachelor of chemical engineering/bachelor of science extracted metallurgy, he has been packing plenty into his year off, juggling several jobs and also hockey commitments. As well as playing he also umpires and also coached the Tamworth 15B girls and is coaching the Tudor Wests 15s boys.
Both sides start their campaigns on Saturday. New England's Cody McCann and former Workies star Brandan Horner are also part of the men's side.
McGill and Frame are thankful to the local businesses that have helped them. McGill has been supported by CrossFit 2340, NS Energy-Solahart Tamworth, Paradise Tourist Park and Haling Earth and Transport, and Frame Pacific National.
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