Game 1 vs France

On the morning that a player makes his debut for Australia, a Kookaburra from the past officially presents the individual with his first jersey. When I was in this position in January against the Netherlands, I was lucky enough to be handed my first playing shirt by three-time Olympian goalkeeper Damon Diletti. The photo I’ve included shows Australia’s most recent debutants with three legends from the past who are also part of our touring party. From left they are: Graham Reid (Assistant Coach), Glenn Turner, Ric Charlesworth (Coach), Bob Haigh (Selector), Jason Wilson and Graeme Begbie.


We had a 5-4 win against France in the first game of our European Tour. Things were not looking good at half time when we were 2-4 down, but the boys fought back well to record the victory. Simon Orchard netted two goals for Australia, while Russ Ford, Luke Doerner and Mark Paterson also got their names on the score sheet.

There are two keepers on the tour – myself and George Bazeley – and so far in Ric’s time as coach he has always played his keepers for a half each during test matches. I understand this is still his intention, however George was sick in bed only a few days ago so I played 70 minutes today. The game didn’t start off in an ideal manner for us after they scored from a penalty corner inside the first two minutes. It was a fast drag flick directed just inside the post and slightly above the ground to my stick side. I managed to save the next one, also to my right but high this time, before they scored a field goal shortly after with a deflection close to the net.

The final two goals conceded were French breakaways that left us exposed at the back. While it was very frustrating to concede four in a half it was a valuable learning experience for a young team that is building towards World Cup Qualifiers in August and the Champions Trophy in November. It was great to win, but as a team we will study the video footage of the match before game two in Versailles and hopefully learn enough to put in a more comprehensive performance in our next outing.

Cheers for now,


Kookaburras European Tour

Post-training in Versailles

Tonight we are playing our opening game of the Australian team’s tour of Europe in Montrouge, the first of a two game series against France. It’s very exciting to begin the test schedule after considerable travel time and some solid training sessions. After leaving Australia we flew to London via Singapore, before travelling by bus and train to Paris from Heathrow. Three players make their debuts for the Kookaburras this evening, namely Graeme Begbie (WA), Jason Wilson (QLD) and Glenn Turner (ACT). I’ve included a picture taken by our assistant coach after training at Racing Club in Versailles, the host of our second game tomorrow. Stay tuned for a report of the opening test between Australia and France.


New Addition To OBO Sponsored Players; Ross Meadows

We welcome Ross Meadows to OBO’s particularly amazing people.


Ross plays his club hockey for Hale Hockey Club in Western Australia and captains the SmokeFree WA Thundersticks in the Australian Hockey League.

Having recently received the call up to the Kookaburras squad for the 2009 season, Ross has the ideal opportunity to impress Australian coach Ric Charlesworth ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers in August and the 2009 Champions Trophy in Melbourne during November/ December.

With 4 international caps under his belt Ross will be making an effort to send updates to keepers resources on how he is getting on from his European tour….more from Ross soon.

They’re Playing with our OBO

When you’re next watching an international field hockey match, chances are the goalies are wearing protective gear made by OBO, a Palmerston North company.

When you’re next watching an international field hockey match, chances are the goalies are wearing protective gear made by OBO, a Palmerston North company.

Dedicated to safe-keeping, OBO provides 60% of the world market for field hockey goalies. OBO is sold in 61 countries world-wide.

player shot

“About half of the national hockey teams in the world use our products,” says OBO Managing Director Simon Barnett who, for the record, doesn’t even play the sport! “We saw a niche in the market and went for it. We do nothing else but make gear for goalies. “

OBO put their market leadership down to a unique product and customer focus. The “OBO foam” used in their gear has a tighter cell structure that wears slowly and thermo-bonding technology produces three-dimensional products that are stronger and enable the wearer to move more freely. For example, leg guards are pre-moulded to fit the leg and are shaped to reflect the way the body moves.

“Our gear has performance and protective qualities no other gear can hope to have,” says Simon.

“We involve goal keepers in several countries to provide ideas and to test prototypes as we develop equipment. Because goal keepers do the development work, our products are based on real needs. We also use professional product designers to put the finishing touches on our gear, so it not only works well, it looks great too!”

OBO has recently been selected by Industry New Zealand for its Fast Forward programme which supports high growth potential businesses.

Simon Barnett says the assistance from Industry New Zealand and Technology New Zealad has been invaluable in maintaining the company’s momentum as it moves into the global cricket market.

“It has enabled us to do a really good job in developing and testing our products and to access outside expertise when required.”