Fansunite 2 years ago

Kookaburra Jamie Dwyer has point to prove in Rio

  • Kookaburra Jamie Dwyer has point to prove in Rio

    Jamie Dwyer's Rio Olympics renaissance is partly about self-fulfilment.

Jamie Dwyer's Rio Olympics renaissance is partly about self-fulfilment.

But the Kookaburras great also has a point to prove to those who viewed him as a hockey has-been.

Nearly two years after being sensationally axed from the Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning squad in Glasgow, Dwyer is still driven by then coach Ric Charlesworth's exclusion and his own subsequent soul-searching.

Having returned from the brink of retirement more than once, the 37-year-old five-times world hockey player of the year has just played what he feels might be the best season of his decorated career.

Dwyer is well in the frame to make coach Graham Reid's 16-man Olympic squad and appear at his fourth and final Olympics in Rio.

"I had a point to prove to a few people," Dwyer told AAP.

"I wanted to prove to myself personally that I was good enough to do it.

"After I had belief in myself, then I wanted to prove to other people that my age doesn't mean a thing and I can do what I've always been doing.

"I guess that point to prove really drove me to a new level which I'm very happy about."

After Rio - if he's selected - Dwyer will be content to bow out as Australia's greatest-ever hockey player.

But first he wants to go full circle and win a first gold medal since his debut Olympics in Athens 2004.

The Rockhampton product's finest moment came in that final when he scored the winning goal against the Netherlands.

He believes another gold is possible, seeing the current team as being in a better place culturally than the group of 12 years ago.

On the field, Dwyer is predicting small incidents to make the biggest difference.

This week he watched the Kookaburras' devastating London 2012 Olympic semi-final loss to Germany.

Not as self-flagellation, rather a valuable - albeit painful - learning experience.

"I've been to three Games, and one successful one in Athens where we had a fair bit of luck," Dwyer said.

"The other two we made the semi-finals and got beaten by a better team on the day. That can happen.

"At the moment we're trying to prepare as best we can so there's daylight between us and the opposition.

"We did that two years ago to win the World Cup, but the other teams have caught up.

"So we'll need a little bit of luck, but if we get the gold medal I'll be the happiest man in the world."

0 0
please wait...