Olympian Russell Ford retires

Thursday April 30, 2015 by  

Olympian Russell Ford has announced his retirement from international hockey after 158 appearances for the Kookaburras in a decade-long career.

Russell Ford in action at the 2014 Champions Trophy.
Photo courtesy of Dan Carson/DC Images

The Olympic bronze medallist, 31, scored 72 times for Australia including against the Netherlands in the Kookaburras’ 2-1 victory in the Champions Trophy final on home turf in Melbourne in 2012.

Since making his debut as a 22 year-old in a 4-1 win over India in June 2006 under then coach Barry Dancer, Ford has gone on to represent Australia at the Olympic Games, the World Cup, four Champions Trophies, two Oceania Cups, and the World League semi final and final tournaments.

Explaining his decision, Ford said, “I just believe the time is right to call it a day. I have spent ten years as a part of the Kookaburras and over the past months I have had time to refresh and make my decision with a clear mind. Read more

Shoot-out sinks Kookaburras

Sunday April 12, 2015 by  

Player of the Tournament Mark Knowles’ dramatic last minute equaliser from the penalty spot was ultimately not enough as the Kookaburras went down 3-1 to New Zealand in a shoot-out after the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final ended 2-2 in regulation time.

While the Black Sticks successfully converted three of their four attempts, Jake Whetton was the Kookaburras’ only shoot-out scorer as Daniel Beale was denied by a superb double save and Eddie Ockenden and Aran Zalewski narrowly missed.

Kookaburas coach Graham Reid said afterwards, “I thought we pressed very well but at the end of the day they got a corner, a soft corner. We had lots of opportunities but we didn’t put them away. That’s what hockey’s about – capitalising on those opportunities. We didn’t do that today.” Read more

Kookaburras beaten by India

Saturday April 11, 2015 by  

The world number one Kookaburras suffered their first defeat of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup campaign going down 4-2 to a Nikkin Thimmaiah-inspired India in their fifth and final round-robin match on Saturday.

Captain Mark Knowles would have hoped for a positive result in his 250th appearance for Australia but early goals in the first and third quarters did for the Kookaburras, who were level, 1-1, at the first break through Daniel Beale’s equaliser shortly before quarter time.

Having fallen two goals down in the third quarter, Matt Gohdes gave Australia hope of a comeback seven minutes from time but Nikkin’s hat-trick goal in the final minute completed the result. Read more

Kookaburras reach Azlan Shah final

Thursday April 9, 2015 by  

The Kookaburras advanced into the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Thursday night with a game in hand courtesy of a gritty 3-1 victory over trans-Tasman rivals, the New Zealand Black Sticks.

Three goals in a clinical nine minute period of the second quarter was enough to earn victory as Dylan Wotherspoon, Jamie Dwyer and Jeremy Hayward struck. Kiwi Andy Hayward pulled one back from the penalty spot shortly after half time but the world champions maintained the two goal deficit.

Speaking after the match, Kookaburras Assistant Coach Paul Gaudoin said, “It was a typical Australia-New Zealand match. It was tough, an absolute grind. They know how we play, we know how they play. Read more

Dwyer hits hat-trick

Wednesday April 8, 2015 by  

Jamie Dwyer continued his good form in front of goal as his hat-trick led the Kookaburras to a 5-2 victory over Korea at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Wednesday.

The three-time Olympian, later named Man of the Match, was joined on the score sheet by fellow Olympic gold medallist, captain Mark Knowles, and Eddie Ockenden, who struck his 60th goal for Australia.

The result keeps the Kookaburras top of the standings after three matches, ahead of second place New Zealand Black Sticks on goal difference .The trans-Tasman rivals meet on Thursday evening. Read more

Dwyer and Wotherspoon help ‘Burras to victory

Monday April 6, 2015 by  

Two goals from Australia’s most capped player Jamie Dwyer and a last minute goal from Dylan Wotherspoon helped finish the Kookaburras atop of Malaysia 3-2 in their second pool match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Monday night.

A re-match of the 2014 Azlan Shah final, the Kookaburras – 2014 title winners – went head-to-head with the hosts and 2014 runners up, Malaysia, after Australia defeated them 8-3 in last year’s final.

It was a slow first half for the Kookaburras and Malaysia, with neither team able to convert their attacking opportunities to break onto the scoreboard. Read more

Kookaburras crush Canada

Sunday April 5, 2015 by  

In his record-breaking 322nd appearance for Australia’s Kookaburras, Jamie Dwyer showed that he is still as hungry as ever, scoring Australia’s fourth goal – his 207th in the green and gold – in a 7-0 win over Canada on day one of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.

He has now overtaken Jay Stacy, who retired following the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, as Australia’s most capped hockey player ever.

At the other end of the experience spectrum, Victorian Tim Cross, making his debut for the Kookaburras, set things in motion with his first goal for his country just 12 minutes into the match. It was followed a minute later by young Queenslander Dylan Wotherspoon’s first goal in just his fifth senior appearance, putting Australia in the driving seat. Read more

Kookaburras Sultan Azlan Shah squad named

Tuesday March 24, 2015 by  

The Kookaburras’ squad for next month’s 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, has been announced by Hockey Australia. The 18 athlete squad will feature a combination of new and senior players while seeing the return of athletes from injury.

Captain Mark Knowles will return to the international fold to lead the group having battled an ankle injury after winning gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Joel Carroll is also included having missed much of the 2014 season.

Two of the Kookaburras’ most experienced players, Jamie Dwyer and Glenn Turner will return having not played for Australia since the World Cup in June last year. Read more

Australia and India sign bilateral agreement

Saturday February 21, 2015 by  

Australia and India today announced a landmark bilateral agreement that will see the Indian men’s national hockey team tour to Australia in each of the next three years, 2016-2018.

In return, Hockey Australia will release its senior men’s national squad athletes for the Hockey India League for the next three seasons, including in 2016, six months before the Olympic Games in Rio.

The strategic initiative was announced by Hockey Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale and his counterpart at Hockey India, Elena Norman, at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi, during the Hockey India League finals series. Read more

Kookaburras named Team of the Year

Thursday February 12, 2015 by  

The Australian men’s hockey team, the Kookaburras, has been named Team of the Year at the AIS Sport Performance Awards (ASPAs).

Kookaburras assistant coach Paul Gaudoin accepted the award on the team’s behalf at a ceremony held at the Melbourne Museum on Wednesday night.

The Kookaburras held off stiff competition from the Australian netball team, the Diamonds, and the Australian para rugby team, the Steelers, to secure the award. Read more