Those who watched Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 from the begining of the tournament probably knew that there can only be one winner – Australia. The Kookaburras were just a class above the others and I had little hesitation when predicting them to win the World Cup last week and so they did. Nonetheless, their 6-1 mauling over the host nation and second best team in the world in the final of Hockey World Cup 2014 came as a big surprise. Just like, when Holland trashed Spain in the FIFA World Cup few days ago, the bookies once again are laughing all the way to the bank.
The Australian team has long became the benchmark for standard of hockey in the world. Yes, they had their ups and downs in the tournaments but they will always be there and thereabout consistently finishing among the top three in all major hockey competitions. That’s why instead of looking elsewhere, Malaysia should always try to emulate the Australians, study them and learn to play like them. It’s going to be very difficult but that’s how it should be if we want to be among the best.
The biggest obstacle for our team is DISCIPLINE. Will our boys be willing to put gigantic efforts to be like the Australians?
Bear in mind that The Kookaburras are not just skillful and powerful. They work really hard as a team and cover a lot of grounds. They don’t have attackers or defenders like us. We play with Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Faizal Saari and Shahril Saabah up and we rarely see them helping our defence. Likewise our defence are also not supporting the forward when we attack. Masing-masing buat hal masing-masing!
The Australian defend in numbers, i.e everyone goes back every time they lose possession. When they manage to get back the possession, you can see their players swarming the opponents’ half and attack in numbers. I don’t think any team can live up to that, unless of course if their players are as fit as the Australians. The problem is not just one or two Australians are super fit.
The whole team is super fit, including their bench.
If in football, the Spanish are famous for their ‘tiki-taka’ and ability to pass the ball accurately, The Kookaburras are the Spanish’s equivalent in hockey. You don’t see them misplace too many passes. And some of their players can flick accurately to their teammates from 40-50 yards away with the receiver quite comfortably controlling the passes. Spectacular!
There is so much more I can say about The Kookaburras but the important thing for us to understand is they are just awesome and worthy winner of every hockey tournaments in the world.
They have shown masterclass of hockey in the final against Holland, thus setting a bar for every team to achieve. The onus is now on us to reach that height.
Do you think we can do that?
– Kookaburras’ Hockey Master Class