Wollongong's Tristan White has been rewarded for his role in Australia's Champions Trophy success with a full-time Kookaburras contract.
White was an unsung hero in the extra-time victory over the Netherlands in the final on Sunday, providing the pass which allowed Illawarra teammate Kieran Govers to smash a stunning shot into the backboard and break the deadlock.
Coach Ric Charlesworth yesterday announced next year's Australian squad with a view to taking on the 2014 World Cup, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games campaigns.
"Even after the win I didn't expect to be selected [in the squad]," White said.
"I still thought I was maybe on the outskirts.
"[The Champions Trophy] was everything I'd hoped for and a lot more.
"At the start I thought it might not have been that big after coming off the Olympics, but the crowds were amazing and it was a spectacular way to win a tournament."
White admitted he was preparing to pass the ball back after providing Eddie Ockenden with an option out of a tight spot in the pressure-cooker extra-time period when the game was locked at 1-1.
However, he changed his mind when Govers demanded possession for what proved the title-winner.
"It was all a bit of a blur," he said.
"When Eddie got into a bit of trouble I thought I might go and help out and I was thinking about passing backwards when Kizz [Govers] was screaming for it on the other side.
"I just knew he was going to hit the shot from there, it's just the kind of player he is.
"I'm glad he did."
The Illawarra pair found themselves showered with beer for their trouble during wild celebrations on the sidelines, as several of White's mates were in Melbourne on a bucks weekend and to watch the final.
After being part of Australia's development squad this year and watching the Kookaburras win bronze in London, White is determined to make the most of his opportunity for more international success.
White is on an Australian Institute of Sport distance scholarship for the next six months while he completes a finance degree at the University of Wollongong.
"It was great to get the nod and be part of their plans," White said.
"Hopefully I can make the most of it."
Charlesworth said he was looking to the future with the selection of White.
"We have selected a squad that we believe are capable of playing in the World Cup in 2014 and can manage the heavy workload in 2014, which includes the Champions Trophy, World Cup and Commonwealth Games," Charlesworth said.