Tristan White and Flynn Ogilvie are in Malaysia taking part in a rigorous training program that started in early March. Together, they are two of four Wollongong locals that have been selected to play for the Kookaburras, with the potential to be flying off to Rio for the Olympic Games.
“They’ve been pretty full on in a training block since early March,” Hockey Australia’s Lawrence West said.
“Malaysia is actually quite a difficult region because they have such a passionate crowd, so it’s quite good practice for the team.”
FLASHBACK: Australian representative hockey player Tristan White speaks about his experience with academies of sport at the opening of the ClubsNSW Academy Games 2012 in Wollongong.
The 16-man squad will not be announced until late June, but the UOWHC said White and Ogilvie have a good chance.
“For the last 40 years we were just a normal club and now to have two in the Australian team, we’re very proud,” UOWHC life member Matthew Davis said.
“The both of them have about a 75 per cent chance, 16 places out of the 27 who are currently on the team … If one or both made it, we’d all be buzzing.”
White and Ogilvie are the latest in a growing list of Illawarra hockey players to make a name for themselves nationally and internationally
“There’s a really strong hockey presence in that part of the country,” Lawrence said.
“It just seems to be a strong hockey heartland.”
Davis said the success of White and Ogilvie had reignited a interest in hockey in the Illawarra, and young players were being drawn to the game.
“If you’ve got the talent and dedication, we can give you lots of opportunities,” he said.