Hockey stars going for Gold!

Ryde-Hunters Hill hockey stars Tom Craig, left, and Lachlan Sharp are going for Gold with the world champion Australian Kookaburras in the 2018 Commonwealth Games which started on the Gold Coast this week.

RYDE-Hunters Hill Panthers hockey sensations Tom Craig and Lachlan Sharp are gearing up for their maiden Commonwealth Games campaigns with the mighty Australian Kookaburras.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games start today (April 4) on the Gold Coast and the dynamic duo – who are local products of the Ryde-Hunters Hill Panthers Hockey Club – will don the green and gold for Australia’s opening clash against South Africa this Saturday at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre at 4.30pm.

Tom Craig, pictured left, and Lachlan Sharp have enjoyed phenomenal success with the world number one ranked Kookaburras over the past twelve months.

Both turned in powerful performances to help Australia clinch the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia last month and played key roles in the Kookaburras’ two other major trophy wins – the Hockey World League Final and Oceania Cup triumphs.

Craig of Lane Cove impressed during the Kookaburras’ Oceania Cup success but missed the World League championship due to injury.

Twenty-year-old Sharp – a 2017-18 TWT Club 6 Ryde Sports Foundation Sports Star of the Year Grand Finalist – capped a memorable senior international debut series when he starred in Australia’s 2-1 victory over Olympic champions Argentina in the final in India last December.

The attacking midfielder covered himself in glory when named Junior Player of the Match in the Kookaburras’ 3-0 semi final triumph over Germany and in the championship decider, producing skilfil performances to impress keen judges.

Retiring veteran Mark Knowles will lead the top ranked Kookaburras in their pursuit of a sixth consecutive Commonwealth Games Gold medal.

Since hockey was introduced into the Commonwealth Games in 1998, Australia have won nine of the 10 gold medals on offer.

Kookaburras captain Knowles will finish up his decorated playing career after the tournament in his home state and coach Colin Batch said they hoped for a fitting farewell for the three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist who could become the side’s second most capped player ever during the event.

The Kookaburras are in Pool A in the men’s draw alongside New Zealand (ninth), Canada (11th), South Africa (15th) and Scotland (23rd).

Australia also play Scotland this Sunday April 8 at 9.30pm; Canada on Tuesday April 10 at 4.30pm; New Zealand on Wednesday April 11 at 4.30pm before the semi finals on Friday April 13 and medal matches on Saturday April 14.

Retiring veteran Mark Knowles will lead the top ranked Kookaburras in their pursuit of a sixth consecutive Commonwealth Games Gold medal.

Since hockey was introduced into the Commonwealth Games in 1998, Australia have won nine of the 10 gold medals on offer.
Kookaburras captain Knowles will finish up his decorated playing career after the tournament in his home state and coach Colin Batch said they hoped for a fitting farewell for the three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist who could  become the side’s second most capped player ever during the event.

The Kookaburras are in Pool A in the men’s draw alongside New Zealand (ninth), Canada (11th), South Africa (15th) and  Scotland (23rd).

Australia also play Scotland this Sunday April 8 at 9.30pm; Canada on Tuesday April 10 at 4.30pm; New Zealand on  Wednesday April 11 at 4.30pm before the semi finals on Friday April 13 and medal matches on Saturday April 14.