Abbott retires from International Hockey

Friday July 19, 2013 by  

Darwin-born Des Abbott has announced his retirement from international hockey after making 111 appearances for the Kookaburras.

The prolific forward informed coach Ric Charlesworth of his decision on Thursday, calling time on an international career that has seen him win an Olympic bronze medal, and World Cup and Commonwealth Games gold.

The 27 year old scored 61 times in his 111 outings, including six at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games where his goals helped Australia to the bronze medal ahead of the Netherlands. Read more

Kookaburras rue opportunities missed

Monday June 24, 2013 by  

In a dramatic final at the World League in Rotterdam, the Kookaburras came out on the wrong side of an enthralling 2-2 draw and a sudden death shoot out against Belgium.

For much of the match the Kookaburras battered the Belgian defence but despite goals from Chris Ciriello and Russell Ford, a textbook goalkeeping performance by Belgium’s Vincent Vanasch and the faintest of saves from his replacement Jeremy Gucassoff in the shoot-out denied the Australian men victory.

Head Coach Ric Charlesworth admitted afterwards his side had enough chances to win the game but said they had achieved two of three of their pre-tournament ambitions. “It’s a disappointing way to lose but we can only blame ourselves,” he said. “We had the chances but we didn’t take them; we even had chances to win it in the shoot-out. We had six penalty corners to their one but the goalkeeper made a lot of good saves and we put one past our own goalkeeper, too. Read more

Kookaburras seal place in the Final

Saturday June 22, 2013 by  

The Kookaburras sealed their place in the final of the World League tournament in Rotterdam in the early hours of Saturday morning with a thoroughly deserved 4-3 victory over the Netherlands.

Despite the narrow margin of victory over the hosts and world number three side, the Kookaburras controlled the match for lengthy periods, creating more chances than their esteemed rivals.

The Kookaburras will meet Belgium in Sunday’s final, albeit without Kieran Govers, who pulled up clutching his right hamstring late in the match. Read more

Australia seal crucial quarter final victory

Thursday June 20, 2013 by  

A clinical first half display helped the Kookaburras seal a semi-final berth at the Hockey World League and, so long as France do not cause one of the biggest upsets in world hockey later, a place at the 2014 World Cup in The Hague thanks to a 5-1 victory over India in Rotterdam.

For Australia not to automatically qualify to defend their title, Olympic silver medallists the Netherlands will need to lose their quarter final to outsiders France.

Before the match – the 100th between the two teams – much of the attention had been on Jamie Dwyer, who made his 300th appearance for Australia, but the Kookaburras demonstrated early on that their focus was firmly on securing the crucial victory. Read more

Kookaburras leave France in Dwyer straights

Monday June 17, 2013 by  

Jamie Dwyer underlined his credentials as one of Australian sport’s greatest athletes with a superb five goal haul as the Kookaburras beat France 7-1 at the Hockey World League in Rotterdam on Monday.

Coming in his 299th appearance, Dwyer’s heroics only served to highlight the remarkable milestone the Queenslander is predicted to reach on Wednesday as he becomes only the third Australian man to play 300 times for the Kookaburras.

Against Pool A outsiders France, the Kookaburras were always expected to perform and in truth the score could have been greater had it not been for a combination of key French interventions and missed opportunities. Read more

Kookaburras find fifth gear

Saturday June 15, 2013 by  

The Kookaburras kicked their World League campaign into gear with a resounding 5-2 victory over Spain on Saturday. And the margin might have been greater had it not been for some top class goalkeeping by Spain’s Francisco Cortes.

After the disappointment of an opening day defeat to Belgium, the Kookaburras took to the field with renewed vigour and made their mark with five different goal scorers finding the back of the net in a commanding win.

Penalty corners played a key part with Kieran Govers and Chris Ciriello both converting set pieces in the first half. A tremendous volley from Ed Tubau pulled one back for Spain, before a quick-fire five minutes saw Kiel Brown, Russell Ford and Rob Hammond all add their names to the score sheet. Gabriel Debanch’s last minute penalty corner goal was little more than consolation for Spain. Read more

Kookaburras lose opener to Belgium

Friday June 14, 2013 by  

Early Belgian strike put Australia on the back foot

The Kookaburras’ campaign for World Cup qualification got off to a difficult start in Rotterdam on Friday with a 3-1 defeat to Belgium in their opening match at the Hockey World League.

An early goal from the high-flying Belgians put the Kookaburras on the back foot from the first minute and despite their superiority in possession, the Australian men found themselves 2-0 down at the break after Cedric Charlier added to Sebastien Dockier’s opener.

Russell Ford’s close range goal with seven minutes remaining looked to have given the Kookaburras a way back into the game but John-John Dohmen took the sting out of any such resurgence with a neat deflection to make it 3-1 moments later. Read more

Kookaburras’ final squad selected for World League

Friday June 14, 2013 by  

Hockey Australia has submitted its final 18-athlete Kookaburras squad for the Rabobank Hockey World League in Rotterdam.

The newest tournament in the international hockey calendar, the Hockey World League is Australia’s first opportunity to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, where they will be looking to defend their title.

A 20-strong group has been preparing for the tournament with a European tour encompassing warm-up fixtures against the Netherlands and Belgium. But with competition regulations requiring teams to nominate a squad of 18, Queenslander Jake Whetton and Aran Zalewski of WA are the unfortunate pair missing out on selection. Read more

Teams share the spoils ahead of World League opener

Sunday June 9, 2013 by  

In an entertaining dress rehearsal for their opening match of next week’s World League competition in Rotterdam, the Kookaburras and Belgium drew 2-2 in Antwerp on Sunday.

Mark Knowles gave the Australians the lead from the penalty spot in the ninth minute but the Kookaburras found themselves pegged back shortly after half time through Felix Denayer’s penalty corner.

Eddie Ockenden struck his 49th Kookaburras goal to restore the lead but Belgium snatched a share of the spoils with just three minutes remaining, Florent van Aubel applying the finish. Read more

Ford’s 50th figures in ‘Burras comeback win

Friday June 7, 2013 by  

For the second time in three days the Kookaburras turned around an early deficit against the Netherlands to run out as 5-2 winners in Rotterdam as they prepare for the World League, which gets underway in one week.

Russell Ford’s 50th goal for Australia was one of the notable moments in a match that also featured a rare goal from Matthew Swann and saw captain Eddie Ockenden find the net. But it was 22 year-old Aran Zalewski who got the Aussies back on track after Jeroen Hertzberger’s opening goal for the hosts and Trent Mitton who rounded things off with 15 minutes remaining.

Head Coach Ric Charlesworth pointed again to the early Dutch goal, mirroring Wednesday’s first clash between the two sides. “We had a slow start and we went down again,” he said. “We had a good finish to the first half but the second half was pretty even. We’ll take the result.” Read more