The man known to his teammates as “Moose’, is part of the Kookaburra’s leadership group and has been a regular for the national team since 2013. Approaching 200 caps, the hard-working midfielder Aran Zalewski was pivotal to Australia’s success during the 2019 season.
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 .
What does the nomination for FIH Best Player mean to you?
Aran Zalewski: “It’s lovely to be nominated. I’m not exactly sure what it means to me at the moment, I am still halfway through my career and looking back it will mean something in the future but at the moment I am just taking it in my stride. It is lovely to be nominated as it says you are doing the right things and you are on the right track. I guess it’s a little bit of a reward for effort.”
Looking back to 2019 what was your best and most memorable moment?
Aran Zalewski: “Last year was a great year for myself and the Kookaburras. We had quite a lot of success. Probably my best moment of the year was the European trip [for FIH Pro League]. We spent the best part of four to five weeks in Europe and we were able to win the Pro League in Amsterdam, just across the road from my old club so that was great.”
Why do you think 2019 was such a good year for you?
Aran Zalewski: “I’m not sure. I think maybe I have just matured as a hockey player as I get older and more experienced. At the start of the year I had a bit of a wake-up call, not playing as well as I would have liked and that kicked me into gear and got me going and motivated me to improve my hockey and get better. That has left me in the right frame of mind and the right spot going into the Olympics this year.”
What are your dreams and aspirations for this year?
Aran Zalewski: “I still want to improve and get better this year. We have the Pro League starting in a couple of weeks, and we have got Tokyo in July and August, so it is all about getting ready for that and making sure the Kookaburras win a gold medal.”