Warrnambool hockey player Callum Bridge will represent Australia at the inaugural Hockey5s World Cup in January 2024.
The goal keeper is set to play in Oman after the Australian team comfortably won July's Oceania Cup.
The squad went undefeated 6-0 against the other nations with New Zealand, Fiji and the Solomon Islands also qualifying for the worlds.
The tournament was smooth sailing for the team in its initial rounds, defeating Vanuatu 16-2 and Tonga 11-0.
Bridge said the team had been working well throughout the tournament up until the final.
"We were down 3-1 to New Zealand in the first half, and we had to claw our way out of that," he said of Australia's 4-3 comeback triumph.
The former Brauer College student said the momentary lapse was a result of the team's disbelief at making it so far but the experience bought them closer together.
The squad is having regular meetings to discuss game plans and strategy for the unique Hockey5s format.
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The rules reduce the number of players from 11 per team to just five with a smaller field to compensate. Boards also surround the pitch so the ball can't be called out unless it is hit over and shots on goal can be taken anywhere past the half-way line.
"This style of play is very goal keeper orientated, the ball's always so close that we stay in the game the whole time," Bridge said.
"Because there's no back line, that ball can get hit there and you've got to decide if you want to get it or guard the goal."
The altered format has resulted in some wildcard entries with nations such as Pakistan and Kenya qualifying despite usually placing outside the top 10 in 11-a-side hockey.
"So you don't know how they're going to be playing because they're not often seen on the world stage," Bridge said.
The 19-year-old said he hadn't seen the tournament's host nation of Oman play at international level, and was unsure how they would stack up.
"Whereas we've seen the Netherlands and India at World Cups and the FIH Pro League, so we can kind of go off what we see there. But other than that, we've just got to take each game as it comes," he said.
Hockey Australia won't contributing any funding to the team, leaving its players to raise close to $10,000 each to participate in the tournament.
Just a month after opening a crowdfunding page, Bridge has amassed more than $3200, nearly half of which was contributed by Warrnambool business Coco Hair & Beauty.
He has also secured sponsorship with AB Auto's and Service Centre and Louise Andrew Building Design Solutions but is still looking for support.
Tax-deductible donations can be made via Bridge's fundraiser through the Australian Sports Foundation.
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