NEWCASTLE will be well-represented by five of its young guns when the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation Under 18 World Championships start this month.
Australia will take on Belgium, Iceland, the Netherlands, hosts Serbia and Spain in the Serbian capital Belgrade from March 9 to 15.
Newcastle North Stars Midgets Charlie Frazer, Patrick Nadin, Luke Shafren, Hayden Sheard and Joshua Hansen made the squad after impressing selectors.
Australian under 18s coach Steven Lindsay said the 20-man squad was picked after a series of camps in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Lindsay, who has coached Newcastle North Stars teams for about a decade, will make his debut as Australian under-18 head coach after four years as assistant coach.
The boys were put through their paces in a series of ice and land sessions, testing their intensity and endurance.
"We really wanted to push them, and see who could drive through the mental barrier," Lindsay said.
"Ice hockey is all about short 45-second stints of intense power. We wanted to see who could keep going past that."
Lindsay said he was pleased that the talent pool in Newcastle was growing, after no local juniors were selected in the Australian team last year.
He said the boys would be in for a tough competition, as the opposition would be at the end of their season and fitness levels at their peak.
The boys left Australia on February 27 for a training camp in Helsinki, Finland, before heading to Serbia for the competition.