Author: Mitch Wynd
Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch and 100 game milestone man Flynn Ogilvie gave their reflections after the 3-0 win over Japan in Osaka last night.
How would you sum up the game and the performance considering it was the first competitive hit out the team has had since winning the Pro League Grand Final?
Colin Batch (CB): “We were a bit rusty as you would expect. It was a challenging game and we certainly didn’t have it all our own way.
“We had a number of chances and they defended well, and at the same time we had to defend well to keep them out on occasions. Japan have improved quite a bit since the last time we saw them.”
It must have been special for Flynn Ogilvie to get on the score sheet in his 100th appearance?
CB: “He scored early which was pleasing and his goal shooting is something he’s been working on so that was good and then later in the half at the other end he made a save off the line, so he’s doing some good work at both ends of the field.”
A big reason for your trip to Japan has been to acclimatise to the conditions over there and spend some time in hotter temperatures. How do you think the players handled the conditions?
CB: “We have played in Malaysia a lot where the conditions can be stifling as well, so it’s not foreign to us but we need to acclimatise and that was one of the big reasons for coming over for this trip.”
“It is fair to say Japan are used to those conditions and I think it could be in their favour come the Olympics.”
Congratulations on reaching 100 caps Flynn after making your debut in 2014. How did it feel getting to the 100 game milestone? Did it feel like a special occasion?
Flynn Ogilvie (FO): “Coming into the team in 2014 I didn’t get to play many games early on because there were so many quality senior guys in the team but then there was a bit of change among the playing group and fresh coaching staff and I started to get more of a run. Then I tore my hamstring off the bone so I put in a lot of hours with our strength and conditioning staff and got back at the start of 2018.
“But today was awesome. It was only a friendly game but the boys made it pretty special and made a little presentation to me before the game.
“When you play an international it doesn’t matter what it is, it’s always special playing for Australia and pulling on the green and gold.”
You opened the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes tonight – you almost couldn’t script that in your 100th?
FO: “After the Pro League Final when I scored as well, it’s just good to score at the moment because I was on a bit of a drought there for a while. But to score in my 100th was pretty special and to do it so early was nice and took a bit of pressure off.
Colin mentioned that getting forward and being on the score sheet more often is something you have really been working on. How do you feel like you’re tracking at the moment, both individually and as a squad?
FO: “I didn’t see myself as a much of a goal scorer so I’ve been putting in a lot of work in that area at training and it looks like it’s starting to pay off – hopefully it keeps continuing.
“Striker is probably the position where we have the most depth so it’s always tough getting selected there because we’ve got plenty of scorers and players in that striker line so hopefully I can keep playing well, putting some goals in and maintain my spot.”
Arguably that is what makes this team get even better when players are pushing each other and there is a lot of depth for positions?
FO: “Tom Wickham and Aaron Kleinschmidt both sat out today, and Jack Hayes and Dylan Wotherspoon were both out as well through injury, so they will all be pushing the guys that played today really hard. Then there’s Jack Welch to come back in as well from injury, so there are plenty of guys that are playing at the moment on their toes.”
Finally, you’re 25 years of age so surely you have a number of good years in front of you and 200 or even 300 caps are not out of the question?
FO: “I’d like to see myself at the bottom end of the mid age group in the squad so hopefully I do have a number of good years ahead of me and keep playing good hockey.”
Kookaburras 3 (Ogilvie 7’, Govers 33’, Anderson 57’)
@ Ritsumeikan University, Osaka, Japan