Australia’s under 21 men’s hockey team, the Burras, have selected 20 athletes to tour Europe next month as preparations for December’s Junior World Cup get underway in earnest. Four years ago Australia won the bronze medal with victory over rivals New Zealand and the two week trip will see the Burras go up against the two teams that finished above them on the medal rostrum in 2009, Germany and the Netherlands.
The five match European tour will see Australia play Germany twice in Mulheim, followed by three Tests against the Netherlands’ U21s in Eindhoven.
And with the Burras’ tour overlapping that of their senior counterparts, the Kookaburras, it offers Australia’s aspiring young athletes a rare opportunity to learn from their hockey heroes. Continue reading
World Champions the Kookaburras will welcome back seven Olympians as they get their 2014 World Cup qualification campaign underway in Europe next month. The newest tournament in the international hockey calendar, the Hockey World League is Australia’s first opportunity to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
The Kookaburras name a 20-strong squad for the tour to Europe, which also includes two test matches against the Netherlands and one against rising stars Belgium. From the 20, an 18 man squad will be selected for the World League. To be assured of a place at the World Cup, the Kookaburras must finish in the top three of the Rabobank Hockey World League competition in Rotterdam.
Following the successful series victory over Korea in Perth, which concluded last week, the Australian men are bolstered by the return of three-times Olympian Mark Knowles (QLD), double Olympians Fergus Kavanagh (WA) and Eddie Ockenden (TAS), and London 2012 bronze medal winners Chris Ciriello (VIC), Matthew Swann (QLD), Simon Orchard (NSW) and Kieran Govers (NSW). Continue reading
KOOKABURRAS 4-1 (HT: 0-0) KOREA
Kookaburras: Trent Mitton 55 (PC), Russell Ford 56 (PC), Kieran Govers 63 (PC), Rob Hammond 65 (PC)
Korea: Nam Hyun Woo 70 (PC)
A dominant Kookaburras performance was rewarded with four quickfire goals in ten second half minutes as Australia’s men emerged as 4-1 victors over Korea in the fourth and final test in Perth. The result also sealed a series win for the Kookaburras who won twice and drew twice.
Second half goals, all penalty corners, from Perth’s own Trent Mitton, Victorian Russell Ford, the returning Kieran Govers (NSW) and Queensland’s Rob Hammond capped a determined performance in a match that the Kookaburras bossed for long spells. Continue reading
KOOKABURRAS 3-3 (HT: 1-2) KOREA
Kookaburras: Russell Ford 11,54 (F,F), Matt Willis 67 (F)
Korea: Yoon Sung Hoon 3 (F), Own Goal 28 (OG), Lee Jung Jin 40 (F)
File Photo: Russell Ford in Action (Photo Credit: Raghu Prasad RV)
Two Russell Ford (VIC) strikes and a first goal for his country from Matt Willis (NSW) helped the Kookaburras fight back twice for a 3-3 draw against Korea in the third of four Tests in Perth, WA, on Tuesday.
In wet conditions, Australia found themselves behind early in the match but equalised through Ford’s well placed shot in the 11th minute. An own goal against the run of play courtesy of the pads of goalkeeper George Bazeley put Korea back in front at the break and the Kookaburras found themselves two goals down soon after the restart through Lee Seung Hoon’s tomahawk. But Ford’s second strike following good work by Trent Mitton down the left and Willis’ sweep home earned the Kookaburras a share of the spoils. And it could have been more had a late penalty corner been successfully converted. Continue reading
KOOKABURRAS 5-2 (HT: 4-1) KOREA
Kookaburras: Trent Mitton 18,22,52 (PC,F,F), Jake Whetton 34 (F), Josh Miller 35 (F)
Korea: Yoon Sung Hoon 3 (F), Nam Hyun Woo 26 (PC)
A hat-trick from local hero Trent Mitton and a slicker, more patient approach helped the Kookaburras to a resounding 5-2 victory over Korea in Perth on Sunday in game two of the four match series. Mitton’s treble was complemented by strikes from Queenslander Jake Whetton and New South Wales’ Josh Miller, the pair getting their names on the score sheet within one minute of each other at the end of the first period. Continue reading
KOOKABURRAS 0-0 KOREA (Korea win shoot-out competition 4-1)
Kookaburras fans witnessed one of those rare sights in the opening match between Australia’s men and Korea in Perth on Friday night – a nil nil draw. And while the best of the goal scoring chances fell to his side, Head Coach Ric Charlesworth was full of praise for his defensive unit which featured, among others, debutant Andrew Philpott (VIC).
Speaking immediately after watching the subsequent shoot-out competition, which Korea won 4-1, Charlesworth said: “I thought it was a pretty good defensive performance, we hardly gave them an opportunity to score, we had four penalty corners ourselves and they didn’t get any.” Continue reading