SPITFIRES’ Hugh Cullen says the challenge of taking on the Capital League has made him a better hockey player.

The striker, 20, along with teammates Charley Wallace and Brenton Newnham were last week chosen in the Victorian Country team to play in the national titles in Toowoomba in August. “The Capital League is a very good competition and the quality is awesome,” Cullen said.

“You measure yourself against these sides and look at the way they play and how you can reach that level.

“The game is so much faster and they do the basics so smoothly at pace.

“When we went back to the Victorian Country Championships last weekend, I wouldn’t say it was easier but you seemed to have so much more time.”

Cullen, in his first year with the Spitfires, believes natural improvement will see them start to challenge mid-table sides in the second half of the season.

“We copped a hockey lesson from ladder leaders Central, who had several national hockey league players and who have been together for years,” he said.