Dywer a victim of youth policy as Kookaburras target gold

ROCKHAMPTON hockey star Jamie Dwyer has missed out on a spot in the Australian Kookaburras team to contest the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games next month.

Despite a strong performance at the recent Hockey World Cup, the five-time world hockey player of the year was left out of the side to make way for younger players.

Fellow Rockhampton player Mark Knowles will captain the side while Matt Gohdes makes his Commonwealth Games debut. Knowles and Gohdes joined Dwyer at the Hockey World Cup where Australian claimed its third world title.

Dwyer yesterday told southern media he had been left in the lurch in regards to his future playing career and would take some time off to work out his future. "I got an email a few days ago saying I was not in the squad. I wanted to go but there was not much I can do about it unfortunately," Dwyer said.

"The email said they are looking for a younger team and a team for the Rio (Olympic) Games in 2016. They picked an older team for the World Cup, which seemed to work.

"I was looking forward to it. It was going to be my fourth Commonwealth Games. I believe I am still in the best 16 players in this country. I can see their reasons. I just have to go on holidays now and not think about it.

"I am unsure whether I was going to go to Rio and I still am. I will have a few months off hockey and think about it. I will see who the new coach is and decide in a couple of months what my future holds.

"I am 35. I could go to Rio and it would freshen me up to do it with a new coach. On the other hand, it would be nice to have finished the way we did (with a World Cup win)."

Nine players in the Kookaburras men's team will make their debut at the Commonwealth Games as Hockey Australia looks to youth over experience.

Hockey Australia high performance director Trish Heberle said the Commonwealth Games was a benchmark event and Hockey Australia had high expectations for the men's team.

"For those athletes and coaches selected, it's a tremendous honour to be part of a larger Australian team comprising multiple sports and I know that they will feel enormous pride when representing Australia on this global stage," Heberle said.

"As always, nominating our squads has involved difficult decisions. The men's group is a mix of experienced leadership and fresh young legs with several athletes coming in who were unfortunate to miss out on World Cup selection earlier in the year."

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