Kookaburras Content With Darwin Preparation For World Cup

Kookaburras Content With Darwin Preparation For World Cup

Author: Ben Somerford

The Kookaburras have heaped praise on hosts Darwin following their 10-day stay in the Top End for the Darwin International Hockey Open where they finished as runners-up.

World number one Australia lost Saturday night’s final in front of almost 1,000 people 2-1 to the second-ranked Argentines.

The Kookaburras arrived in Darwin on Wednesday 12 September to get several days training under their belts in the heat and humidity ahead of the 2018 World Cup in India in November and December.

The squad flew out of Darwin on Sunday, but content with what they gained for the trip despite finishing second.

Kookaburras coach Colin Batch: “It was very good to be up here. 

“It’s not just the matches we’re up here for. We’re here for some good training. 

“There’s a good facility here. The ground is high quality.”

Darwin-raised defender Jeremy Hayward praised the Darwin public for coming out and supporting the Kookaburras with more than 2,000 fans witnessing the four days of play.

“I love it. This is my favourite tournament of the year,” Hayward said. 

“Coming back and playing in front of family and friends. The crowd was great in Darwin. 

“Thanks to the Darwin people who got out and supported. Hopefully we can do it again next year.”

The Kookaburras are already thinking about the World Cup later this year, where they’ll chase a third straight title.

“We’re looking forward to the future, which is the World Cup so this is great preparation for that,” Hayward said.

“We go back to Perth, we’ve got the AHL (Australian Hockey League) coming up and the national camp. We’ll be getting ready and set for that.”