Standout performances from Trent Mitton and second-gamer Tim Brand have helped the Kookaburras secure a 2-2 draw with Germany on Monday morning. The side, undefeated in their Test Series, now head into this week’s Champions Trophy with some strong momentum.
The second clash in as many days with Germany proved to be an exciting matchup. With the two sides now familiar with one another, Monday morning’s match went right down to the wire. After two early goals to the Germans by way of Tom Grambusch and Dieter Linnekogel, it took Brand’s first international goal to steady the ship before the in-form Mitton scored his third goal for the series to tie things up.
Co-captains Eddie Ockenden and Aran Zalewski were among the Kookaburras best, showing leadership both on and off the pitch throughout the series, while youngsters Brand and Johan Durst showed some spark for the Australians.
Brand debuted for the Kookaburras in Sunday’s clash against Germany whilst Victorian goalkeeper Durst made his debut in Monday’s draw.
Head Coach Colin Batch spoke on the duos introduction to international hockey.
“For them to come in an play against such a good team like Germany is a good experience first up. It’s a tough debut but it’s also a very good one to play against such a top ranked team like Germany” said Batch.
“It’s one thing to prepare in the training environment but to come away and play in these two Test matches has been very good preparation for us. We don’t come up against Germany in the Champions Trophy so it was an added bonus to play another European team.”
The Kookaburras will now head to Holland ahead of their first match in the Champions Trophy against Belgium on Sunday.
Batch spoke on the importance of performing at the upcoming tournament.
“We’re a very competitive team and we want to do well at the tournament, we want to learn about ourselves firstly and test ourselves against the best teams that are there. It’s also about preparing for the World Cup at the end of the year so we’ll use this as a marker for where we’re at.”
The world number one Kookaburras will come up against the Netherlands (ranked fourth), Argentina (2016 Olympic gold medallists and ranked second), Belgium (ranked third), India (ranked sixth) and Pakistan (ranked 13th) at the Champions Trophy.