Warrnambool is aiming for a top-12 finish when the Under 14 Australian Junior Club Championships get under way in Sydney from Sunday.
The Mermaids qualified for the 24-team tournament by winning the Basketball Victoria Country Championships in April.
Coach Shane Smith said his playing group understood the calibre of competition would rise in Sydney.
"It's the best teams around Australia that compete," he said. "We play against cities. The girls will compete and have a great time. We're all prepared and ready to go and we'll give it our best shot."
The Mermaids will contest three pool games on Sunday and Monday against Hills Hornets, Northwest Tasmania and Darwin Cyclones. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the championship division with the bottom two joining the shield division. Quarter finals start Wednesday.
"Our aim without a doubt is to make it into those top 12 (teams)," Smith said. "We had a classic in June, between Sydney, Adelaide and Victorian teams and our aim was to get in the top group there and we were able to.
"That's our aim again... if we can get in that top 12, we've done really well."
Rosie Bowman and Sophie Smith, two members of the Mermaids, are looking forward to the chance to compete.
"We'll be playing against other teams we don't really know and playing together," Rosie said.
They agreed communication and defence would be crucial to a strong team performance.
"We know each other well and work as a team," Rosie said.
The squad, which hasn't played together since June, has been hitting the court in recent days to regain their on-court connections.
"It's more just getting us all together and used to playing each other (again)," Sophie said of the training sessions.
With the championships running in conjunction with the FIBA Women's World Cup in Sydney, the Mermaids will get the chance to watch the world's best by attending a game.
"That's going to be really great for the girls to see and be a part of," Smith said. "It creates a bit of buzz for the girls as they compete."
Smith thanked the community for their support, which has involved fundraising.
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