Kookaburras will not be content with anything less than gold

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Current World Ranking # 1 (2188 points)

Clubbed with Great Britain, Spain, Argentina, Pakistan and South Africa in Pool A in the London Games.

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See Points Tables: Men's, Women's

Best result: Won gold in the 2004 Athens Games. They defeated the Netherlands 2-1 in the extra time.

Last Olympics: Won bronze.

With 2188 points, the Australian men's hockey team (kookaburras) are a clear 200 points ahead of the second best, Germany. Australia have played in all Games except the 1980 edition in Moscow ever since their debut in 1956. The Kookaburras have bagged three silvers and won bronze medals besides gold at the 2004 Games.

Australia are the current World Cup Champions Trophy and Oceania Cup holders in men's hockey and if they go on to win the gold this year, they will reach the maximum number of FIH world ranking points available, the first ever-team to achieve such an incredible feat.

The Road to London:
Australia got an automatic entry after the Oceania region's quota for qualifiers was raised to two and more particularly after all other nations except new Zealand had withdrawn. The Kookaburras won the three-game series against New Zealand to claim a seventh-consecutive Oceania Cup.

Players to Watch out for:
Australia has several star players in their rank. Jamie Dwyer particularly deserves a mention for his remarkable ball-control skill and trickery performed at a top speed. Dwyer has been voted the FIH World Player of the year for the past three years and five times in all. Eddie Ockenden, Des Abbott, Mark Knowles, Liam De Young, Fergus Kavanagh and Simon Orchard are some of the other players. Chris Ciriello is an impressive corner specialist.

1. Speed.
2. Creative skill while attacking

1. High expectation and pressure

Chances to progress at the London Games: 9/10
Australia will go into this Olympic with four successive Champions Trophy and a World Cup win their belt. Anything less than a gold would be considered an under achievement for the Aussies. Great Britain in the group stages and Germany in the later stages could throw some serious challenge to Australia. Australia will kick off their campaign against South Africa on Jul 30.

Squad: Des Abbott, Nathan Burgers (GK), Matthew Butturini, Joel Carroll, Chris Ciriello, Tim Deavin, Liam De Young, Jamie Dwyer, Matt Gohdes, Kieran Govers, Fergus Kavanagh, Mark Knowles, Eddie Ockenden, Simon Orchard, Matthew Swann and Glenn Turner.

Head Coach: Ric Charlesworth is a four-time Olympian as a player and two-time gold medalist as coach of the Australian women's hockey team. He has won every possible trophies and laurels both during his playing and coaching days. Winning a men's Olympic gold will complete the full circle. Charlesworth is also a qualified doctor and a former MP in Australia.

OneIndia News

Story first published: Thursday, July 5, 2012, 10:22 [IST]
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