Mackay-born Matthew Swann at the recent Hockey World Cup in the Netherlands.
Mackay-born Matthew Swann at the recent Hockey World Cup in the Netherlands. Grant Treeby

Back from World Cup win, Swann prepares for next challenge

HOCKEY: The ball keeps rolling for Mackay's Matthew Swann.

Fresh off Australia's World Cup win, he's back in training in Perth preparing for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

"It was awesome to go back to back and win the World Cup. It was nice to be a part of," Swann said.

The Kookaburras won gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where Swann played an influential part as a defender.

The squad, announced on Tuesday, will be going for the fifth consecutive men's hockey gold. Australia has won every Commonwealth Games gold since the sport was introduced in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

"With such a good track record, there is always pressure when we (Australia) play," Swann said. "We want to finish the year well and win the (Commonwealth Games) gold and then the Champions Trophy in India (in December)."

The heavy playing and training schedule has former the Norths Devils junior admitting some level of homesickness.

"Mum and dad are up there (Mackay), and I haven't been back for a while," Swann said. "I am looking forward to coming back to do some fishing with my partner from Holland. Last time we were here she caught more fish, so I need a rematch."

The Australian men's squad has a strong central Queensland influence, with Swann joining Rockhampton duo Matt Gohdes and captain Mark Knowles.

Gohdes will make his Commonwealth Games debut, while stalwart Knowles is coming off being named player of the tournament at the World Cup.

"Central Queensland has been a strong area for hockey for a while, from Jamie (Dwyer) right through to the three guys we have now," Swann said.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow runs July 23 until August 3. The team will be without long-time coach Ric Charlesworth, who retired after the World Cup.



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