Gold medal for Eddie Ockenden

The 27-year-old was part of the Australian men’s hockey team which maintained its perfect record at the event by claiming a fifth straight gold with a 4-0 defeat of India.
Ockenden was instrumental in the victory, acting as stopper at three short corners which delivered a Chris Ciriello hat-trick and then claiming the fourth goal himself with 20 minutes remaining.
The medal is Tasmania’s fourth in Glasgow, following cyclist Amy Cure’s silver and bronze on the track and Hamish Peacock’s bronze in the javelin.
It continues a phenomenal record for the 2008 world young player of the year who has also been part of the team’s back-to-back World Cup wins, five straight Champions Trophy titles and successive Olympic Games bronze medals.
“It’s a fantastic end to a long year,” he said.
“We started it last December training for the World Cup and it’s been a long and pretty stressful campaign but to win the World Cup and then Com Games is absolutely awesome for this team and we’re really proud.
“This is definitely up there. It’s an amazing tournament. We love coming to the Commonwealth Games and it was something we really set our sights on this year.
“It means a lot for the game in Australia and really good that we can keep performing, girls as well, on a really high level.
“It was a really solid performance. We were able to suffocate India with a really good defensive effort and we created a number of chances, we could have had a lot of goals in that first half. It was a really solid performance, probably our best of the tournament.
“Did I get all the assists? I’ll count them for sure. I need every one I can get.”
Australia dominated the tournament at Glasgow’s National Hockey Centre, cruising through the group stages with wins over Wales, South Africa, India and Scotland before a 4-1 semi-final defeat of England in which Ockenden scored the late sealer.
A repeat of the 2010 final when Australia beat the then host nation 8-0, this match was much tighter until Ockenden and Ciriello began combining.
The Perth-based former Friends student, who plays his club hockey in Tasmania with North West Grads, scored his 56th international goal on his 221st appearance following great approach work by Kieran Govers.
Ockenden admitted this was the sort of day he used to dream about when he began playing hockey in Hobart.
“Every time I went to training or got on the pitch, when you’re a youngster you look up to the Commonwealth Games and Olympic athletes and just want to emulate them.
“You progress, start playing with one in the state team as I did with Matthew Wells who had won Commonwealth and Olympic gold and then you progress to the national team and just thrive on the culture of success and hard work.
“Now it’s amazing to be part of this team. We haven’t lost many games in the past six years, have won many tournaments and have a really strong culture of improving and learning.
“Everyone said we were destined to come home with the gold medal from the Commonwealth Games but we put so much hard work in,  train so hard for so long together and we love playing together and winning together, it’s the best.”

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