Australia’s Eddie Ockenden is an attacking midfielder with three Olympic Games under his belt. With more than 350 caps to his name, he is also one of the Kookaburra’s longest serving players. But, as he enters his 12th season as an international, his enthusiasm burns as brightly as ever as he reflects on a good year in 2019 and an exciting 12 months ahead.
Each of the Hockey Stars interviews published on the FIH website are with the nominees for Best Player. The winning athletes will be announced in February.
What does the nomination for FIH Best Player mean to you?
Eddie Ockenden: “It’s nice to get a nomination and it’s a good reward. Having Aran and I nominated and also [other team members] in the other categories. It was a really good year for the Kookaburras last year, so that is fantastic.”
Looking back to 2019 what was your best and most memorable moment?
Eddie Ockenden: “The most memorable thing about last year was qualifying for the Olympics. It was at the end of the year and we had enjoyed a really good year. Also, winning the first FIH Pro League, that was amazing. But qualifying for the Olympics, giving us a chance [of gold] this year – that was a great year.
Why do you think 2019 was such a good year for you?
Eddie Ockenden: “I was really enjoying my time with the team, I still love coming to training. The team here is fantastic and we have a great atmosphere. The thing I love most is playing with the Kookaburras so while that’s fun and I’m enjoying that, then that’s a good reason to keep playing hockey.
What are your dreams and aspirations for this year?
Eddie Ockenden: “This year is a very big year. I just want to get stuck into training and give myself the best opportunity to make the Olympics. If I make the team, then obviously we have big goals in Tokyo, so it’s going to be a fantastic year.”