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Golden Games for Australian hockey

4 August 2014

HOCKEY: For the third consecutive Commonwealth Games, Australia have swept the gold medals in men's and women's hockey.

Both the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos believe they're tracking well to break their Olympics droughts in Rio, but there are still big changes to be made.

To the naked eye, the Kookaburras barely broke a sweat as they charged through the draw and smashed India 4-0 in the final.

But beneath the surface were rumbling tensions between co-coaches Graham Reid and Paul Gaudoin.

After legendary mentor Ric Charlesworth stepped downon the eve of the Games, the pair were appointed to take over as a coaching team.

However, both are ambitious to be named Charlesworth's sole replacement when Hockey Australia announce their new coach in October, and Reid and Gaudoin have openly admitted to butting heads through the Games.

Gaudoin made it clear the co-coaching model was not sustainable.

"I think it was a stop gap," said Gaudoin.

"We've worked together for a long time ... but I don't think (co-coaching) could work into the future."

Reid said he and Gaudoin would leave the decision up to the powers that be.

"I'm very keen to coach Australia. It would be an honour," he said.

Player-wise though, it's all in place for the Kookaburras who are the No.1 team in the world and continued their monopoly on Commonwealth gold.

While the Kookaburras search for a mentor, the Hockeyroos have locked theirs - Adam Commens - in long-term.

The Hockeyroos are No.2 in the world, but Commens believes his team are playing a style which can see Australia revisit the golden days of the 1990s.

Their gold medal triumph over England in Glasgow was one for the ages - an equaliser with 15 seconds left and then a win on penalties.

Delighted with the debut of Brooke Peris - of selfie with the Queen fame - Commens wants to see more young stars come through for Rio.

"We're still a little way off the Dutch," he said.

"They have a lot of depth. But that will happen for us as we develop. We need more players like Brooke coming through."


MEDALS - Gold for both teams

STAR PERFORMER - Penalty goal specialists Jodie Kenny for the Hockeyroos and Chris Ciriello for the Kookaburras stood up when it counted in the finals.

ONES TO WATCH - Brooke Peris, cousin of former athlete and Hockeyroo Nova Peris-Kneebone, is a brilliant mover and will be a star of Rio.

Kookaburra's striker Trent Mitton missed the World Cup but announced himself in Glasgow.

Ben Horne


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