Ric and Jonathon Charlesworth will become the first father/son – coach/player combination in the Kookaburras history, with Jonathon today selected to debut for the Kookaburras in an upcoming tour of Malaysia.
The 24 year old will be joined by Queensland pair Matt Gohdes and Matthew Swann as debutants when the Kookaburras tour Malaysia in a 5 test series from October 16-26.
In another family related announcement, Gohdes is the cousin of two time world player of the year and current Kookaburra Jamie Dwyer.
Jonathon, who is a member of the 2009 Kookaburras development squad, represented Australia A several months ago in a series against Malaysia, Canada and the Kookaburras. He has been an important member of the SmokeFree WA Thundersticks line up since debuting in the Australian Hockey League in 2004.
While Jonathon shares many similarities to his father, including wearing a headband similar to what Ric wore during his playing days and is also studying to be a doctor like his father, he says he is looking forward to paving his own career.
“It’s only human nature for people to compare us, but I’m confident that my abilities are enough to have me stand on my own two feet. Having obviously grown up around hockey, I’m very excited to make my debut at the top level,” said Jonathon.
Ric said Jonathon’s inclusion, along with that of Matt Gohdes and Matthew Swann, will continue to expand the depth of the Kookaburras squad.
“All three players have shown encouraging signs throughout the year and have all earned the right to represent the Kookaburras. Obviously as a father I’m proud of Jonathon, but he will be treated no different from any other player in the squad,” said Charlesworth.
With the inclusion of these three players, 14 players have now made their debut for the Kookaburras under Ric Charlesworth this year, with the team continuing to develop their squad ahead of the ABN AMRO Hockey Champions Trophy which will be held in Melbourne from November 28 – December 6.
As the most prestigious event on the 2009 International Hockey calendar, all players will be desperate to impress Charlesworth during this Malaysian series in a bid to earn their spot in the Champions Trophy squad.
With players such as Jamie Dwyer, Eddie Ockenden and Des Abbott playing club hockey in the Netherlands, this tour will give the younger squad members a chance to step up and play a key role.
Kookaburras Malaysia series squad (16-26 October 2009): Nathan Burgers, Ross Meadows, Graeme Begbie, Joel Carroll, Kiel Brown, Ian Burcher, Chris Ciriello, David Guest, Matthew Butturini, Glenn Simpson, Liam De Young, Rob Hammond, Fergus Kavanagh, Mark Paterson, Simon Orchard, Grant Schubert, Brent Dancer, Matt Gohdes, Matthew Swann, Jonathon Charlesworth, Glenn Turner, Jason Wilson
Source: Hockey Australia
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