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'Would love to see India do well in Hockey World Cup 2023,' says former Australia forward Glenn Turner

Glenn Turner

New Delhi, Nov 8: As the clock ticks closer to the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Hockey World Cup Bhubaneswar-Rourkela 2023, with less than 100 days to go, Hockey India launches Favourite World Cup Memory which will bring hockey fans unknown facts, fun anecdotes and special moments for hockey stars around the world who have achieved the pinnacle at this prestigious event in the previous years.

Our series picks up with a two-time World Champion Glenn Turner, who was a mainstay in the triumphant Australian side of the 2010s.

Having won back-to-back World Cups - 2010 in India and 2014 in the Netherlands, a Gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and the Bronze medal at London 2012 Olympics, the former Aussie forward spoke fondly about the Kookaburras' dominance during his time.

"It was a surreal experience because the time when I came into the team, we were nearly winning everything. I was lucky to come into a team that was full of superstars. We had built a culture of winning. But it all started at training sessions because it was so hard to make the team. Not the games or the World Cups, the hardest part was to get a spot on that side. It was pretty cut-throat because only the best can make the top teams. But, it was a good ride," said Turner, who made his international debut in 2009.

Turner played a vital role in Australia's 2010 World Cup win, having scored as many as six goals in seven matches. "As I mentioned, I was new, so it was a bit of riding a wave for me, coming in and working hard to get my spot. I guess it all just went pretty quickly," he stated.

The Kookaburras started their 2010 World Cup campaign with a 2-3 loss against England but went on to win all the remaining pool games against the hosts India (5-2), South Africa (12-0), Spain (2-0) and Pakistan (2-1).

"I remember a couple of things about that World Cup. We lost the first game to England and we were in a do-or-die situation because there used to be Semi-Finals back then. We started winning and I think we won a lot of games with close margins," the 38-year-old Turner recalled.

He further added, "I remember getting in trouble with Coach Ric Charlesworth after that game against Pakistan because maybe I was protecting my body a little or something. I did not play well in that game and he let me know about it quite frankly after the game."

Glenn Turner

Australia went on to beat the Netherlands in the Semi-Final and Germany in the Final to clinch the title. The former forward scored the winning goal in Australia's 2-1 win over the Netherlands in Semi-Final. "The Semi-Final against the Netherlands was a crazy one. I was lucky enough to score the winner to make it 2-1. I've also got memories of goalkeeper Nathan Burgers who made some big saves in every game," he stated.

"We took our chances, and we beat Germany 2-1 in the Final. If you look back, these are a few lucky moments. Little things do count a lot because most games were very close and it wasn't easy," Turner expressed.

'Would love to see India do well in 2023 WC'

The London 2012 Olympics Bronze medallist also revealed his favourites for the upcoming FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Hockey World Cup 2023, Bhubaneswar-Rourkela, set to take place in January. Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, India, Argentina, Germany, New Zealand, England, France, Korea, Malaysia, Spain, South Africa, Japan, Chile, and Wales are the 16 teams, who will be competing in the tournament.

"I think Australia have a big chance. They recently won the Commonwealth Games. They are a quality team. I know how they train and they train to win. Their basics and fundamentals are so good and I think that is what sets them apart. They will be up there, for sure," said the former Aussie international.

"I think Belgium too, because they are on a roll. They are hard to beat at the moment in any game. And, I think the Netherlands should be up there too, and if they are able to match their potential that will be really good. India are at home. I would love to see them do well," he added.

Speaking about his experience of playing hockey in India, the two-time Olympian said, "I love India. I loved playing in the Hockey India League. It is amazing to see the rise of Indian hockey, and it's time for them to take the next step. World Cup is at home, a huge advantage, and I would love to see them go a little bit further."

Turner has scored a total of 96 goals in 136 international matches in his decorated career. On being asked to give advice to youngsters, Turner said it is important to enjoy the sport.

"To stay at the top of your game, you have to work hard, you have to enjoy it. You have to look after your body, and you have to be willing to compete every day at training. If you are not competing hard for a spot and not trying different things at training, then I think it becomes harder. It's just taking day-by-day and making sure you are trying to improve and get better. If you do that then you can stay around for a long time," he concluded.

Source: Hockey India

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Story first published: Tuesday, November 8, 2022, 15:12 [IST]
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