Throughout his entire hockey career, Kieran Govers' family has been by his side.
When times were tough following his Rio exclusion, his parents were there for him.
And when he made his return to the international arena after a 658 day absence last month, the newest member of the Govers clan was in attendance, his young son Leo.
“It was a pretty emotional time,” Govers said. “Personally, family wise, it was a good feeling to walk out with the boys again after a long, hard slog. I worked for two years to try and make it back.
“We were supposed to play Argentina on Leo’s first birthday, but it got pushed back so we played on the Sunday, two days later. Leo was up there with my fiancée and my mum.
“It was pretty cool having him there, even though when I finished the game he was asleep. It was good, not only in front of him, but my partner and my mum. They’ve been massive supporters of me and my brothers.”
Leo’s birth came after a period of upheaval in Govers’ life and at a time when his international career appeared over. As such, Govers felt it was time to settle down and look to life after hockey.
What followed was a slow return to the Australian squad as the Albion Park resident was forced to juggle three hats as a father, hockey player and breadwinner. Having those responsibilities outside of hockey, he believes, ultimately helped him in that journey.
“Having a son brings me back to reality. When I was younger, I could do anything, go anywhere I wanted to. Now with my family, I have to prioritise and make sure they’re okay as well as what I’m trying to do with my hockey. It gives me a good life balance.
“My fiancée does a good job trying to keep me down to earth. She makes sure when I’m home, I’m home and I leave my hockey at the door. Family-wise, I’m happy now, it’s a good life and I’m enjoying my hockey.”
The Govers may be a tight-knit family unit, but in a cruel twist of fate, it is likely Blake and Kieran are fighting for the same spot in the Kookaburras' World Cup team.
The Kookaburras squad is about to commence a week-long training camp in what is the final opportunity for members to prove their worth before the World Cup squad is selected.
For Kieran, the camp comes after a largely successful return to international hockey at the Darwin International Hockey Open.
Australia fell in the final to world number-two Argentina, but Govers was among the team’s best, scoring a goal in the 2-1 defeat.
If he does fall short of a third World Cup, Govers acknowledges it will likely be because Blake was picked ahead of him.
“I’ve tried to nurture Blake all through his career, so to see where he’s got to, a better player than me, it’s unbelievable.
“Unfortunately we’re vying for the same spot. If the coaches say ‘it’s you or your brother’, I’ll be more than happy to tell them to take Blake.”