HORSHAM District Football Netball League's 17-and-under netball squad is preparing for the Netball Victoria Association Championships on Sunday.
The team will travel to Melbourne to take on the best associations in the state after finishing second at the Northern Zone championships in Mildura on June 1.
A two-goal loss to a strong Bendigo Football Netball League outfit in the final of the zone championships was the team's only loss, but HDFNL netball representative Linda Kelly said an even better effort was needed on Sunday.
"I think the girls all realise they'll need to step up to an even higher level than they did in Mildura," she said.
"They are training well and looking forward to the challenge."
Kelly said the best result at the state finals by a HDFNL team was a quarter-final appearance several years ago.
She said this year's team was capable of equalling or bettering the result.
"They're a very strong combination and they've certainly got some talent amongst them, so they'll match it with the other associations," she said.
Kelly said a fit Mikayla McAuliffe in goals would make a big difference for the team.
McAuliffe played through injury at the zone finals, but has been in top form for Kalkee in the past two weeks and is back to full fitness.
Kelly said it was hard to single out individual contributors.
"They're a good overall team and they can all play different positions," she said.
"Someone like Tarryn Wynd has really stepped up and is certainly showing she can match it with the A Grade players.
"The league wishes them all the best, and I'm sure they'll do us proud."