After six months out of the sport, Flynn Ogilvie is preparing for his return to competitive hockey with a mix of nerves and excitement.
The 24-year-old was recently announced as a member of the Kookaburras 27-man 2018 squad, marking his return to the team after tearing his hamstring off the bone in Malaysia in May. The selection moves him one step closer to selection in the team’s Commonwealth Games squad.
The squad will reconvene in mid January prior to a four-Test series against the Netherlands in Narrogin and Perth. Ogilvie concedes he is a little nervous about making his return after spending so much time off the field.
“I’m all cleared to play, I got cleared at the end of this year when the boys went away to India,” Ogilvie said. “I haven’t had much hockey training, I’ve just been doing a lot of fitness work.
“I’m confident in my fitness now, I’ve done plenty of that. It’s just how I go with the stick and ball and my touch. It just depends on how quickly that comes back to me.”
“Commonwealth Games selection is a bit of an unknown. It just depends on how I go after my hamstring injury. I’ll have more of an idea at the end of January after playing a couple of games.”
Should he be selected for the Commonwealth Games, the Gold Coast tournament will mark Ogilvie’s first Commonwealth Games and he’s excited about the possibility of playing in front of Australian fans.
“It would be great. We’ve had a bit of information from the organising committee, all the facilities look great. It would be real fun to play a big tournament in front of your home crowd.”
The past 12 months have been a period of change for the Kookaburras, with a new coach and a number of new players entering the national set up following a disappointing Rio campaign.
Inconsistent play saw Australia drop below Argentina to number two on the world rankings, but they were able to turn the tables on their rivals by defeating Argentina and reclaiming the world number one ranking in the final of the recent World League Finals.
Fellow Wollongong product Blake Govers scored the winning goal in the final as Australia claimed the final 2-1. Govers and University of Wollongong’s Tristan White were also announced in the Kookaburras 2018 squad.
“Going into this year was an unknown,” Ogilvie said. “We didn’t know how we were going to go. The World League Final was the one tournament we got to test ourselves against the best teams, so it was good winning that one. It gives us confidence going into next year.
“We were pretty focused on this year. We had such a new squad, we were just trying to get it all working towards next year. There’s also a World Cup next year, so there’s two big tournaments to focus on.
“It’s all still a bit of an unknown though. We had a bit of luck in the Finals, not playing against Belgium, they are the team everyone thinks are the top team. But we won it so that’s still good. The games against the Dutch at the start of 2018 will be great to see where we’re at.”