Newly appointed Kookaburras Coach Ric Charlesworth has wasted little time settling into his new role. Only several weeks into his Kookaburras coaching tenure, Charlesworth has set the tone for the team early, organizing a four test series (20-25 January) against arch enemies the Netherlands in Western Australia in the week leading up to Australia Day 2009.
It will be the first time the teams have met since the Kookaburras triumphed 6-2 in the Bronze medal match of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Also, it will be the Kookaburras first series with Hall of Fame coach and player Ric Charlesworth at the helm.
Charlesworth said he had no hesitation placing the Kookaburras against one of the world’s best countries so early into his coaching tenure.
'To regain our position as the number one ranked team in the world (currently ranked second) we will need to defeat the best nations in the big tournaments, and there is no better way to prepare for those matches than to play the best teams on a regular basis.” Said Charlesworth.
The next major tournament in question is the 2009 ABN-AMRO Men’s Champions Trophy in Melbourne from 28 November- 6 December.
While it is still 12 months away, Charlesworth has already identified the Champions Trophy as the team’s next opportunity to gain more world ranking points, and sees this series as perfect preparation.
“We have a very active calendar in 2009, concluding with the 2009 Champions Trophy in Melbourne. There is obviously a lot of work to do from now until then, and this series presents itself as a good first step in working towards a successful 2009 Champions Trophy campaign and beyond.”
Game 1: Tuesday 20 January Busselton Hockey Stadium, 7.00pm
Game 2: Wednesday 21 January Bunbury Hockey Stadium, 6.30pm
Game 3: Friday 23 January Perth Hockey Stadium, 7.00pm
Game 4: Sunday 25 January Perth Hockey Stadium, 7.00pm
Source: Hockey Australia
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