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    Ockenden Joins Kookaburras Elite With Cap 350

    Ockenden Joins Kookaburras Elite With Cap 350

    Author: Mitch Wynd

    Eddie Ockenden is set to join elite company on Sunday when he represents the Kookaburras for the 350th time against Germany.

    Retired Kookaburras legend Jamie Dwyer is the only other Australian to reach the milestone, retiring after 365 appearances.

    The man of the moment shared what it means to him to reach the significant achievement.

    "I'm very happy to have played so many games and I think it's very interesting and I'm proud to have played this many games for Australia," Ockenden said.

    "I love the team, I still love going to training and if you think about all those years and all those training sessions, all the teammates and coaches, that's what really makes the 350 number into a whole thing that's actually a long time and a lot of effort from a lot of people."

    Growing up in Tasmania and playing his junior days at North-West Graduates Hockey Club, Ockenden knew from a young age that he wanted to be a Kookaburra.

    "Early on, playing hockey for Australia was what I really wanted to do, and from a younger age than most I knew I really wanted to do it," he recounted.

    "I don't think you have goals when you're that young, but I definitely saw it as something I wanted to do. I wanted to move to Perth and I wanted to play hockey for Australia was something I remember in primary school."

    The 32-year old has had many influences along his journey and many special moments to reflect on.

    "Winning two World Cups was pretty special and going to three Olympics has been a real highlight."

    "We have great people involved in the Australian setup and we have for a long time. Also the Tasmanian Institute of Sport and Andrew McDonald who's been fantastic in developing players. He's been there a long time, he's been great for me and the TIS has been amazing."

    Kookaburras coach Colin Batch spoke about the milestone man ahead of the big day.

    "Ed has been an incredible player for the Kookaburras, I was involved when he was first selected to play for Australia and I have watched him mature as a player, as a person, and now as a leader in his long career," Batch said.

    "He’ll shy away from individual accolades, he is the consummate team player."

    While the match will carry plenty of significance for Ockenden - it also is an opportunity for the Kookaburras to turn around a poor start to their European leg.

    A shootout defeat against Great Britain was followed up by a 3-2 loss to seventh-placed Spain on Thursday.

    The Kookaburras still sit in top spot on the standings, but they will be disappointed with their last two results and keen to respond with a victory.

    Batch was under no illusions as to the threat the German team poses.

    "Germany's always a huge challenge, they're one of the top performing teams in world hockey, and in the Pro League they've found some form in recent times," said Batch.

    "We're looking forward to that challenge of playing well and having a good result against them."

    Three players join the Kookaburras squad ahead of the match, with Jacob Whetton, Josh Simmonds, and Jacob Anderson meeting the team in Germany.

    Meanwhile in the Hockeyroos camp, victory over Great Britain last weekend sees the ladies currently in third place, with 27 points from 13 matches and a points percentage of 69.23.

    Coach Paul Gaudoin pointed out that a full four-quarter performance was the aim for his team.

    "We're looking forward to the match against Germany, it becomes a very important match - if we win this, we're pretty much assured of playing in the finals so there's a little bit riding on it," he said.

    "We need to play for 60 minutes, the Germans have shown they can come back and win matches late in the game, so we're going to have to be on from the first whistle to the last."

    Jodie Kenny joins the squad after missing the match against Great Britain - meanwhile, Penny Squibb has been ruled out of the remainder of the Pro League with a hamstring injury.

    Both matches will be televised live on Kayo Sports and FOX SPORTS 507 on Sunday. The Hockeyroos match starts at 8pm AEST, and the Kookaburras match starts at 10:30pm AEST.

    Follow both @Kookaburras and @Hockeyroos Twitter pages for live match updates.

    Sunday 16 June - Crefelder Hockey Club, Krefeld
    Germany v Hockeyroos - 8pm AEST
    Germany v Kookaburras - 10:30pm AEST

    Hockeyroos 19-member squad:

    Athlete (Hometown, State)

    Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
    Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW) *Plays for ACT
    Lily Brazel (Sydney, NSW) *Plays for VIC
    Emily Chalker (Crookwell, NSW)
    Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
    Kalindi Commerford (Ulladulla, NSW) *Plays for ACT
    Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
    Savannah Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
    Rebecca Greiner (Bundaberg, QLD)
    Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD)
    Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC)
    Ambrosia Malone (Burleigh, QLD)
    Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
    Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
    Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
    Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
    Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
    Sophie Taylor (Melbourne, VIC)
    Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW)

    Kookaburras 21-member squad:

    Athlete (Hometown, State)

    Jacob Anderson (Mackay, QLD)
    Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)
    Tim Brand (Chatswood, NSW)
    Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT)
    Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW)
    Matthew Dawson (Killarney Vale, NSW)
    Blake Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
    Jake Harvie (Dardanup, WA)
    Jack Hayes (Wollongong, NSW)
    Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)
    Tim Howard (Wakerley, QLD)
    Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA)
    Trent Mitton (Perth, WA)
    Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS)
    Flynn Ogilvie (Wollongong, NSW)
    Lachlan Sharp (Lithgow, NSW)
    Josh Simmonds (Melbourne, VIC)
    Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD)
    Corey Weyer (Biggera Waters, QLD)
    Jacob Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
    Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)