Harvie picked for Kookaburra squad

South Western Times

Boyanup Hockey Club product Jake Harvie will compete in next month’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, after being selected in the 18-man Kookaburras squad.

The 19-year-old has been a member of the Australian set-up for the past three tournaments, winning the International Festival of Hockey title, the World League Final and the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia earlier this month.

Harvie will be part of the team which is seeking a sixth-straight Commonwealth Games gold medal.

He said it was unbelievable to be selected.

“Especially playing in a Commonwealth Games in Australia, it is not something many players get to do,” he said.

Harvie said he was not confident of making the side before the team was announced today.

“I have been happy with how I have been playing,” he said.

“I’ve just been trying to get better each time we play and train.

“It is definitely a surprise for me this early on.”

Harvie said he was enjoying the move from the midfield to defence since breaking into the Kookaburras’ squad.

“I have always played as a midfielder,” he said.

“It is pretty tough at international level to play in the midfield and I may in the future get a chance to play there.

“I am enjoying playing as a defender but and loving just having the opportunity to play.”

Harvie said to win a gold medal was an “unbelievable possibility”.

“I am not thinking about it too much at the moment,” he said.

“We are just taking it one week at a time.”

Kookaburras’ coach Colin Batch said competition for spots in the Commonwealth Games team had been strong.

“We’ve got a lot of depth in our squad at the moment so there’s some disappointed players as you would expect,” Batch said.

“We are pleased with the 18 that we’ve selected. They’ve deserved their selection and we look forward to the Commonwealth Games now.

“The Kookaburras have got some recent winning form but that doesn’t guarantee us anything in the Commonwealth Games.

“It’s going to be difficult. We can’t look too far beyond our first-round matches which starts with South Africa first up.”

The Kookaburras are in Pool A in the men’s draw alongside New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Scotland.

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