Fit-Again Brand Eager To Make Sydney Return

Fit-Again Brand Eager To Make Sydney Return

Author: Ben Somerford

Sydney product Tim Brand has regained his fitness after a knee problem and is chomping at the bit to play for Australia in front of his home crowd for the first time this weekend.

The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos will take on Argentina and New Zealand in the new FIH Pro League at Sydney Olympic Park from 3pm AEDT and 5pm AEDT on Saturday-Sunday 16-17 March.

Brand hasn’t been in action for the Kookaburras since the opening weekend of the FIH Pro League in early February when he injured his knee against Belgium.

He resumed full training last week and has put himself in contention to be selected for this weekend’s matches, with the teams to be announced on Thursday.

“I’m going well. The knee is all good now,” Brand said.

“I started training last week. I had a cork on my knee, which was bone bruising.

“I’m good to go now, so hopefully I get a run on the weekend. It’d be awesome to play in Sydney.”

Brand debuted for Australia in June last year and enjoyed a strong debut year, scoring eight goals and being nominated for the 2018 FIH Rising Star award.

The 20-year-old hails from Ryde-Hunters Hill, not far from Sydney Olympic Park, and would love to play in front of some familiar faces.

“I’ve never played at home before, so it’d be a dream come true to play in front of family and friends and people who’ve never seen me play hockey,” Brand said.

“That’d be a great opportunity. Guys who’ve had a big impact on my career, from Ryde hockey club and NSWIS.”

The Kookaburras are currently second on the FIH Pro League standings, with Argentina in fifth and New Zealand down in last place, but Brand was wary of both opponents.

“They’re two tough teams,” Brand said.

“I’ve never played New Zealand before but we always have a rivalry with them in any sport.

“Argentina, I’ve played a few times, they’re really skilful and fast and will definitely be a challenge.

“We’re doing really well at the moment. They’re giving everyone a chance and hopefully we can continue our momentum into this weekend.”

Matchday tickets are available from $30 for adults and $10 for children via Ticketbooth and this link.

Hockey Australia thanks Destination NSW for their support in enabling the FIH Pro League matches to be played in Sydney.

Saturday 16 March 2019
Kookaburras v Argentina - 3pm start (local time)
Hockeyroos v Argentina - 5pm start (local time)

Sunday 17 March 2019
Kookaburras v New Zealand - 3pm start (local time)
Hockeyroos v New Zealand - 5pm start (local time)