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Outdoor Kookaburras make indoor hockey World Cup squad
The Australian team for the upcoming indoor World Cup reflects national outdoor coach Ric Charlesworth's encouragement of his players to take up the indoor game in order to transfer the unique skills back into the traditional form of hockey.
Three members of the Kookaburras, Matthew Swann, Tim Deavin and Kieran Govers have been selected as part of the Australian team to compete at the 2011 indoor hockey World Cup which will be played in Poznan, Poland from February 8-13.
While Govers has a long history in indoor hockey having competed for NSW over a number of years, Swann and Deavin are newcomers to the game following Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth incorporating aspects of indoor hockey into their training program.
Charlesworth said there was scope for even more field players to make the transition to indoor hockey had it not been for injuries.“Jacob Whetton and Glenn Turner have also shown a lot of skill and promise with indoor hockey and I believe they also could have made the indoor World Cup team had it not been for their injuries,” said Charlesworth.
Charlesworth said he believed the skills and structure of playing indoor hockey would have a positive benefit to his field players in the Kookaburras team.
“There is a lot of benefits for our players to play indoor hockey. It is played in a very confined space which means the game is very fast. They have to learn how to defend the ball in a small space and their stick work needs to be good. All of these skills can be transferable to our team and will be a benefit to our players,” said Charlesworth.
Men’s indoor coach John Scott said the support received by Charlesworth to encourage the Kookaburras to join the indoor squad has been a big benefit to the team.
“The support we have had from Ric and Hockey Australia has been great. Ric sees the value in indoor and the benefits it brings to field hockey. Having incorporated aspects of indoor into the Kookaburras training and encouraged his players to try it, it has been a breath of fresh air for the team,” said Scott.
Scott said he has been particularly impressed with indoor newcomer and Kookaburras defender Matthew Swann.
Swann, who was a member of the Kookaburras team who won the World Cup, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games in 2010, only played in his first indoor tournament in late 2010 however has already shown great skill in the game.
“He is inexperienced but he has already learned a lot. He is a great hockey talent and has already picked up the game very well in a short time,” said Scott.
Scott said that with the experienced members of the team combining well with the new players, he is confident Australia can do well at the World Cup.
“I think this will be one of the strongest teams Australia has ever taken to an Indoor World Cup. Germany will be the team to beat and in some ways we have drawn a difficult pool as we will face Germany, Poland and the Netherlands, who are all experienced indoor countries. But we are still confident of making the semi finals and once you get there anything can happen,” said Scott.
2011 Australian men’s indoor World Cup squad
Blake Sanford (NSW)
George Watts (WA)
Matthew Hochkis (ACT)
Kurt Ogilvie (NSW)
Chris Bausor (WA)
Nathan Gilbert (NSW)
Simon Beaton (NSW)
Tim Deavin (TAS)
Kieran Govers (NSW)
Joshua Poulton (NSW)
Paul Mackinnon (ACT)
Matthew Swann (QLD)
Andrew Charter (ACT)
Garry Backhus (ACT)
Tristan White (NSW)