Knowles sticks to busy goals
By RACHAEL BORICH
FORMER Rockhampton junior hockey star Mark Knowles has an Olympic gold medal, but still feels the need to prove himself in the Australian men's hockey team.
Knowles was home on the weekend to help his dad Ryan celebrate his 50th birthday ? and it was also a chance to enjoy a much-needed three-week break before a testing schedule which stretches through to September next year.
The non-stop tournament run is a chance for Knowles, 21, to further cement a permanent place in the Kookaburras national team.
"I've been in the national team for three years now, but I don't fully feel I fit it,'' said Knowles, who is still the squad's youngest player.
After a tiring year which included Knowles overcoming knee surgery and playing in the Junior World Cup, Kookaburras coach Barry Dancer decided to rest Knowles from the team's recent European tour.
"Even though I know I was just rested it still gave someone else a chance to take my spot.''
There is no hockey off-season for Knowles these days and that doesn't bother him at all.
"I absolutely love hockey at the moment.
"I enjoy going to training no matter how tired I am or how bad a day I've had at work,'' Knowles said.
It is a hectic schedule with four days a week involving gym from 6am followed by work from 8am to 4pm before skills training until 7pm.
"I still have to keep fit to a degree during the break so I've been going to the gym and running ? I miss the training.