Madison Doar can't wait to get on the plane to the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next month.
The 18-year-old striker is the youngest selection on the Black Sticks squad for their campaign, playing under the leadership of fellow Northlander Stacey Michelsen.
"I'm pretty excited, the feeling is unreal. To know I'm heading over there with the whole New Zealand team is incredibly exciting. I can't wait to go," she said.
"It's a huge honour to have the Fern on your shirt and to have it on me while representing New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games is something I have dreamed of since I was a kid.
"To represent not only the country but Northland and all the people who have worn the Fern before is really special."
Doar has experienced a rapid rise over the past 10 months. She made her debut against India last year and has since amassed 10 international caps including a strong FIH World Hockey League Final campaign.
"Everything has happened pretty quickly but I've learnt so much from all the girls and the coaching staff," she said.
"It's a positive environment and everyone wants to be the best. It's taught me the importance of doing the hard yards especially when no one is watching."
Doar has some familiar faces around her with fellow Northlanders Brooke Neal, Ella Gunson and Michelsen being senior members of the side.
The engineering student at the University of Auckland said they have been really helpful in her development.
"I've looked up to the Northland girls for years. I used to see them playing around Northland and have played with them for the last 10 months now which has been really fun," she said.
"They've taken me under their wing which is really awesome. It's cool having people who have come from the same place wearing the Fern alongside you."
The Black Sticks have won three medals at the Commonwealth Games but never the gold medal.
Doar hopes they'll change that record.
"Everyone is always aiming for their best and I know the girls have had the silver and bronze before," she said.
"We definitely want to go one step further but we are just going to take it one game at a time. There won't be an easy outing for us."
The Kiwis open their Commonwealth Games campaign against Scotland at 1.30pm (NZ time) on April 5.