Ever imagine your backyard was the big stage when you were growing up?
Well for Southern Highlands hockey star Denzel Bambridge, backyard tussles with younger brother Ethan have taken them both there.
Denzel was recently named in the NSW Blues squad for the Australian Under 21 Championships with Ethan having already represented the state at the Under 18's tournament earlier this year.
The 20-year old, who resides in Woodlands, said the good-natured sibling rivalry had spurred both of them on to achieve their goals.
"It helps with my brother making the Under 18's state team so we've always been competitive against each other and pushing each other to do better," Bambridge told the Southern Highland News.
"Down in the shed playing hockey or runs and workouts, you name it. Brotherly love, always trying to one up each other. I guess we made each other better than what we thought we could be."
Indeed not many would have thought Denzel could represent his state, least of all him, given he only picked up a hockey stick when he was 12.
But the Mittagong Hockey Club product, who plays as an agile inside forward, isn't letting the occasion get the better of him.
"I guess I just took to the sport really well," he explained.
"My mate moved here from Melbourne and was very relentless with me having to come and try hockey so it's basically his fault that I'm doing all this.
"I'm just going to have some fun. It's always great fun and it's a great group of blokes I'm with this year.
"It's a big honour to be representing your state. I'll do as much as I can for the team and I'm happy with that.
"I certainly wasn't expecting it that's for sure."
The Under 21 Championships were due to be held from June 30 to July 7 in Moorebank in Sydney but have been postponed with the latest COVID-19 restrictions.
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