The new look Kookaburras are progressing to plan under the leadership of coach Ric Charlesworth, defeating world number one Germany to claim the Hamburg Masters tournament. Netherland took the bronze medal, defeating England 5-4.
Only days after the Hockeyroos claimed victory at the Spar Cup championship in South Africa, the Kookaburras demonstrated that Australian hockey is on the right track throughout the next Olympic cycle by claiming victory in the team’s first overseas tournament under Charlesworth.
Despite having a relatively inexperienced line up throughout the tournament, which included eight players with under 20 games experience, the Kookaburras were the form team throughout the Hamburg Masters, with players such as Graeme Begbie, George Bazeley, Simon Orchard and Eddie Ockenden showing the future of the Kookaburras is extremely bright.
Their youthful enthusiasm combined well with the experience of veterans Jamie Dwyer, Brent Livermore and Liam De Young, culminating in an extraordinary first half in which the Kookaburras scored three unanswered goals.
Mark Paterson was the first to score at the seven minute mark, demonstrating he has what it takes to become a regular striker for the Kookaburras.
The Kookaburras attacked the German goal relentlessly throughout the first half, with Eddie Ockenden eventually breaking through again at the 16 minute mark.
When veteran Luke Doerner converted a penalty corner just prior to half time, the match appeared to be well in control of the Kookaburras.
The Germans, determined to prove why they are the number 1 team in the world, came out more determined in the second half, bringing themselves back in the game via two goals within five minutes with plenty of time remaining in the game.
Showing a great deal of maturity the Kookaburras remained calm, scoring three goals within the last twenty minutes to record a deserved victory.
Ric Charlesworth said he is pleased with the progression of the Kookaburras, particularly given the amount of new players who have played under him since his appointment over six months ago.
“Generally, we are beginning to come together as a team, but overall we are still under construction, although we appear to be on the right path,” said Charlesworth.
Giving the Kookaburras further reason for celebration, Jamie Dwyer was awarded player of the tournament while young goalkeeper George Bazeley was awarded goalkeeper of the tournament.
The Kookaburras will be looking to further their development throughout 2022, culminating with the ABN AMRO Hockey Champions Trophy – Men 2022 in Melbourne from 28 November-6 December.
Final: Australia – Germany 6-2 (3-0)
Bronze medal match: Netherlands – England 5-4 (1-3)
Source: Hockey Australia