Australia A have rounded out their five-game series against Malaysia with an emphatic 6-1 win to secure a series victory at Perth Hockey Stadium.
The Australians got together in Perth for a 10-day camp which included five matches, winning four of the encounters and drawing the other.
Wednesday’s fifth and final match saw Tasmanian Jack Welch open the scoring in the ninth minute, before Malaysia levelled through Mohd Fitri Bin Saari (20’).
New Kookaburra Josh Simmonds (29’) restored Australia’s lead right on half-time, before a barnstorming end to the third period secured the win.
Joel Rintala (42’), Jacob Anderson (44’) and Matt Butturini (45’) all fired home within three minutes to open up a significant buffer, with Welch (54’) adding another in the final quarter.
Kookaburras assistant coach Anthony Potter took charge during the camp and was thrilled with the gains made by Australia A players throughout.
“Winning the games is a bonus,” Potter said. “What’s been really good is the way the guys have turned up in shape ready to play.
“They’ve developed the way of play that we preach with the Kookas day-in day-out.
“In the short and long-term it gives them a really good insight into what we want as Kookaburras; our daily programme, how we prepare for games, play the games, how we feedback and recover afterwards.
“Those were the main objectives from the start when we put the tour together. To see the guys grow every day and play better and better as the five games went on is really pleasing.
“As well, part of the values we talk about in the Kookaburras is taking it back to your club, so your teammates learn and it filters right through the system.”
Potter said the national coaches and selectors would review the games before identifying any individuals with a view to Kookaburras selection.
The Kookaburras next tournament is September’s Darwin International Hockey Open, with the team to be confirmed in early September.
The 2018 Australian Hockey League (AHL) commences in October, pitting state against state, and Potter was excited to see many of the Australia A players’ progress then.
“We’re really keen to see how they progress from now to their AHL competition which should be really exciting,” he said.
The 2018 AHL starts on Saturday 6 October, with Tasmania hosting ACT in Hobart and New South Wales welcoming Queensland in Sydney.
On Sunday 7 October, South Australia hosts Western Australia in Adelaide and Northern Territory entertains Victoria in Darwin.
Australia A v Malaysia Series Results:
Australia A 6 (Welch 9’, 54’, Simmonds 29’, Rintala 42’, Anderson 44’, Butturini 45’) def Malaysia 1
Australia A 2 (Hayes 9′, Rintala 55′) drew with Malaysia 2
Australia A 3 (K. Govers, Rintala, Anderson) def Malaysia 0
Australia A 3 (Weyer 38′, Gerrard 44′, Day 49′) def Malaysia 2
Australia A 4 (Gerrard 25′, 54′, Hayes 25′, Anderson 29′) def Malaysia 2